Saturday, October 10, 2009

What can Employers Do to Prevent Amputations?

Work practices, training, and administrative controls all help prevent & control amputation hazards. Engineering the hazard out is the top solution, and safeguarding is the best way to control amputations caused by stationary machinery:

Guards – provide physical barriers to access to hazardous areas. They should be secure & strong. Workers should not be able to bypass, remove, or tamper with them.

Devices – help prevent contact with points of operation & may replace or supplement guards. Machine devices can interrupt the normal cycle when the operator’s hands are at the point of operation, and prevent the operator from reaching into the point, or withdraw the operator’s hands when a machine cycles. They must allow safe lubrication & maintenance, and not create hazards or interfere with operation.

Safeguarding machines is a serious point to consider when purchasing machinery. Newer machinery usually is already available with safeguards. You can also purchase safeguards separately, or build them in-house. Safe work procedures & training specific to a machine in question are imperative issues, but are secondary control methods.

Safeguard risky machines…Save a finger & your company too.

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