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Machine Guarding in the News


OSHA
fined a company in Mobile, AL nearly $90,000 after a 22-year-old employee was killed on the job. The young apprentice was caught in the unguarded drive shaft of a crane trolley. The most unfortunate part of this tragic accident is that it was completely avoidable. Had the hazardous area been correctly guarded, the employee would never have been caught in the machinery.

Following an investigation, OSHA cited eleven serious safety violations. These included allowing employees to work near unguarded machinery, failing to consistently inspect cranes, and failing to train employees on fall protection. Ultimately, OSHA decided that the company had not created a safe environment for its workers as they were frequently exposed to struck-by and crushed-by hazards.

Machine guarding may seem like a small or trivial thing, but its job is to protect employees from injury on the job. Unguarded machines make it possible for amputations if body parts are accidentally caught in the blades or augers of machinery. There have also been many cases of employees' clothing getting caught in the rotors, pulling them into the blades. These horrible accidents can be easily prevented as long as there is guarding on the machinery.

While machine guarding can easily prevent accidents, it is difficult to rescue an employee that is already caught in machinery. Never assume that accidents won't happen, or that you would be able to stop a situation before it gets deadly. In many cases, an employee caught in machinery was already injured or dead before others had realized something had happened. With heavy machinery and power tools, you can never be too careful.

For more information on how to properly guard dangerous machinery, click here.

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