While working on a machine to forge parts, a 28-year-old man lost a fingertip in a November 2014 incident—on just his second day on the job. Investigators said the accident could have been prevented if his employer had trained the man properly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection determined that the worker’s employer, an iron and steel forging company, failed to train the worker in how to safely operate the machine, which also lacked adequate safety mechanisms. As a result of its investigation, OSHA cited the company with 23 serious safety violations and has proposed penalties of $80,500. Keep reading to find out what sort of training could have helped to prevent this amputation.
Machinery Hazard Training
Here’s what workers need to know before they begin working with any piece of dangerous machinery:
Make sure that the machine is operating properly before you begin work:
- Inspect equipment before use to be sure it’s in good working order.
- Check that all scheduled maintenance has been performed.
- Keep the machine lubricated and clean, or alert the proper person when it’s time for those tasks.
Operate machines correctly and safely:
- Follow instructions provided by training and the manufacturer’s manual.
- Never skip steps.
- Make sure you have enough lighting to see controls clearly.
- Keep your hands and other body parts away from moving machine parts.
- Use tools, not your hands, to feed materials into (and remove materials from) machines.
- Don’t try to operate machinery when under the influence of alcohol or drugs—or prescribed medications.
- Wear assigned personal protective equipment (e.g., safety glasses, hearing protection).
- Avoid clothing, long hair, or jewelry that could get caught in the machine.
- Give the job your full attention, no matter how often you’ve done it.
- Know how to turn off the equipment safely if there’s a problem.
- Turn off and report any machine that moves, makes unusual noises, or is not functioning properly.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll cover some training tips for a different training issue: slips, trips, and falls.