Working around heavy machinery can become routine, and that’s when things often get dangerous. Workers forget just what risks they face or how quickly an accident can turn deadly. They grow complacent. They feel at ease. That all makes it easier for them to let their guard down and make a mistake that puts them in the hospital.
In many ways, it’s like driving a car. When you first start, you often feel very dedicated to safety and you think about it constantly. As you get used to it, though, it’s easy to stop thinking about just how difficult and dangerous safe driving really is. That leads to a casual attitude which can in turn lead to accidents.
Wear proper clothing at all times. With moving parts — especially spinning parts — one of the greatest risks is when clothing or jewelry gets tangled and wound into the machine.
Likewise, if you have long hair, keep it tied up whenever you work with heavy machinery in which it could get caught.
Even if it seems like it might make the job easier or faster, never take off guards or turn off safety features. Only use the machine as it was designed to be used.
Always communicate with other workers so that everyone is on the same page. A simple miscommunication could lead to a tragic accident in mere seconds.
If you ever spot problems or defects with a machine, do not try to work through them. Turn the machine off and file the proper report.
Always get training on any new machine. Never assume you know how to use it. Likewise, employers should never tell employees to use machines they have not gotten trained on in advance, even when doing so costs time and money.
Check over all of the guards and safety systems every day. Only turn the machine on if they are properly in place.
Turn machines off when not in use, even for a short break. An unattended machine should never stay on or keep running. Many companies even use a keycard system so that only the right workers can turn the machine on.
Do not rush. Do not cut corners. It’s tempting to do this in order to speed up the job, especially when a supervisor pressures you into it, but it’s just too dangerous.
Accidents happen. These tips can help you avoid them, but they may not. If you get injured on the job, make sure you know what rights you have to workers’ compensation for medical bills, lost wages and the like.