Depending on your profession, operating heavy equipment may be something you do all day, every day. For example, factory workers often use many types of machinery to improve efficiency and complete difficult tasks in a more timely manner.
The misuse of any type of machinery can result in a serious accident or fatality. For this reason, anyone using machinery must follow a variety of safety tips. These include the following:
- Only use machinery you have trained for: Just because you have training on one type of machine doesn't mean you can use every other kind. If you don't have the proper training, you probably don't know how to safely use the machine.
- Use machine guards: There is never a good time to remove a guard, as doing so puts you at greater danger of an accident and injury. For example, guards are often in place to protect you against flying debris and sparks.
- Wear safety equipment: The equipment you wear depends on the type of machine you're using. For example, safety goggles are almost always required, as these protect your eyes. Just the same, there is some safety equipment, such as gloves, that you may want to avoid, as they can get stuck in the machine.
- Don't distract someone using machinery: If a coworker is operating a piece of machinery, don't approach them for any reason. Instead, wait for the machine to stop before starting a conversation. It takes great skill and attention to detail to operate most machines, so a distraction increases the risk of an accident.
- Inspect your machinery often: If you come across a defect or any form of damage, turn the machine off and report it to your supervisor. Using damaged or defective machinery increases the likelihood of an accident and/or injury. An example of this is a missing or damaged guard or power cord.
It's better to be safe than sorry when using any type of machinery or tool at your place of employment. Even though you have a job to do, your safety is still top priority.
If you're injured in a workplace machinery accident, seek immediate medical attention. Also, report the incident to your employer as time allows. Taking these steps improves your chance of receiving workers' compensation benefits without delay.