Hazards are probably an inseparable element of manufacturing processes. Unsafeguarded machinery can result into a variety of health risks ranging from minor cuts or burns to fractures. Machine guards play a key role in improving the safety situation in a facility. It is the prime responsibility of business owners to have their machines adequately safeguarded in order to protect operators and other workers from moving parts, sparks, electric shocks, etc. The blog post will talk about the machine guarding safety and why it is essential to building a safe working environment.
Mechanical motions and actions create a hazardous working environment where operators have to be extra cautious in order to avoid serious injuries. Lack of confidence in machinery can seriously affect the productivity of workers. Some of the common hazards workers confront during production processes include:
- Moving machine parts
- Areas where machines perform cutting, bending, boring, etc.
- Machines which produce excessive noise
- Coolants, cutting fluids, chemicals and other harmful substances
- Exposed and expired electricity wiring
Non-mechanical hazards can also cause serious injuries. Some of them are splashes, flying splinters, debris, etc. Safeguarding machines can eliminate the potential health risks caused by non-mechanical industrial hazards. Minor hazards like dirt can be avoided by wearing appropriate workwear.
Functions of machine guards
A better understanding of how machines work and how guards can protect workers will help manufacturers create a hazard-free environment for employees. The primary function of machine guards is to eliminate the potential risk of injuries. It is also important to make an appropriate use of guards by taking into account the following considerations:
- Machine safeguarding acts like a barrier between human operators and machines.
- Firmly attached machine guards would make it difficult for workers to remove them.
- A safeguard should not act just like another hazard.
- Guards should not be placed in a way that they block the view of an operator.
- Safeguards should be replaced if they stop workers from getting the job done efficiently.
The best means of safeguarding are the industrial controls that remove the hazard at the source without relying on the worker’s ability to perform safely. Machine safeguards should be the employer’s’ first choice to fix machine hazards related issues. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can help minimize the chances of getting injuries at work. However, PPE has certain limitations when it comes to the hazardous industrial environment.
Modern manufacturing industry relies heavily on efficient yet potentially hazardous equipment. Manufacturers should make sure that their employees are well protected against machine-related injuries. The entire production infrastructure should be taken into account in order to develop the right safety solutions.
BP Automation offers diverse machine safeguarding solutions to a wide range of industries in Canada and across North America. If you are looking to make your machines and production processes safer, consult our engineers and get custom machine guards for your safety needs.