Heavy machinery can be a great benefit to any workplace. It allows quick and efficient task completion that can save your business time and money. Without proper training though, heavy machinery can be very dangerous.
Here at Uintah Machine, machine shop safety is one of our top priorities. We have compiled a list of machine shop safety rules to help guide you in operating any heavy machinery.
Please note that this list does not substitute formal trainings and should be used only as a supplement for established machine shop safety rules and guidelines.
Rule 1: Never use any machinery you have not been trained on
The first rule on our list of Machine Shop Safety Rules is to never operate any heavy machinery on which you have not been trained. Formal trainings are crucial aspects to maintaining machine safety.
If you attempt to operate a heavy machine without the proper training, not only do you put yourself at risk, but you put everyone around you at risk for workplace injuries and fatalities.
Heavy machinery is capable of extreme damage, so always know how to operate each specific machine before you begin. You will also want to be aware of anyone else that is operating machinery in your shop to confirm that they are qualified to be operating the machines.
Rule 2: Never use heavy machinery when mentally impaired
A major part of machine safety is to ensure that you are in a clear frame of mind before operating any heavy machinery. Being aware and alert is vital to machine safety. Many people believe this rule only applies to the use of drugs or alcohol. These are important- you should never be consuming alcohol or drugs while operating.
However, things like sleep deprivation, sickness, or even stress can also impair your judgement and mental state. Make sure you are always sober and alert before operating any heavy machinery.
Rule 3: Never wear loose clothing, hair, or jewelry
Another thing to remember in your shop safety rules is the type of attire you are wearing. You never want to wear loose clothing to any machine shop as it poses a greater risk of getting caught in the tools. Getting anything caught in heavy machinery that is attached to your body can lead to serious injury or death, so be aware of your clothing.
This also pertains to loose hair or jewelry. Always have your hair pulled back and secured by tucking it into a shirt or collar. You will also want to maintain long beards and remove any jewelry before operating the heavy machinery.
Rule 4: Never remove safety guards
Heavy machinery is manufactured with the inclusion of safety guards for a reason. If you remove or impede a safety guard you are putting yourself and others in danger and disrupting machine safety.
Any moving parts or sparks from a machine can cause harm to you and those around you, so make sure the safety guards are in place and properly working to protect yourself and other workers.
If you are experiencing any problems with machine safeguards, speak to your supervisor immediately to get the issue addressed and fixed. Do not try to operate the machinery before the safety guard is back in place and working.
Rule 5: Keep the work area clean
Never leave your workstation without cleaning the surrounding area of any scraps or liquids. Messy areas are not conducive to machine shop safety and can lead to accidents. Any scraps, sawdust, or solvents can be ignited by sparks and water can conduct electricity.
To avoid any fires or hazards in the shop, make sure each area surrounding any heavy machinery is clear of these objects. If you go to begin operating a machine and notice any miscellaneous items on the ground, clean them up before you begin working to avoid mishaps.
Also make sure you are not standing in water when working with electrical tools.
Rule 6: Report any broken equipment
Broken equipment can be very hazardous, possibly leading to injuries and fatalities. If you notice that a machine is not working correctly or has a broken part, please speak up.
Machine shop safety is extremely important for all those involved and any broken equipment needs to be addressed and fixed by those in charge. Immediately notify your supervisor when you notice irregularities and do not attempt to use the machine until the situation has been addressed and figured out.
Also, make sure the other workers are aware of the situation and also do not attempt to use the machine.
Rule 7: Report any questions or concerns
Last but not least, in order to maintain machine shop safety, always report any questions or concerns you may have to your superior. If you are unsure of how to operate a machine or have a concern about a particular machine or worker, speak up.
This may feel difficult, but in the end you may be helping to avoid a major accident. It is always better to pay attention and notify those in charge for even small matters.
This will protect yourself and others from potential harms and is an important part of shop safety rules.
Overall, machine shop safety is one of the most important aspects of a business. Heavy machinery can be a huge helping hand for businesses by completing tasks more quickly and easily than exclusively with manpower.
However, without proper shop safety rules, accidents and fatalities are bound to happen. Protect your business and your workers by following these machine shop safety rules.
If any of your machinery is broken or outdated, don’t just wait for an accident to happen, discover how we can help you find the perfect tools and equipment for your business here at Uintah Machine.