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Operating machinery safely in a workplace setting

Every day, hundreds of Louisiana residents spend hours at work to make a living and support themselves and their families. However, some of these people risk significantly more than others depending on the type of industry they work in, the job responsibilities they are assigned and the environmental exposures around them.

For workers who are tasked with working in, around or with heavy machinery, there are required protocols that must be strictly followed to properly and safely complete duties. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers can safeguard machinery to protect their workers and prevent unnecessary injuries. Doing so provides many benefits including the following:

  • Reduces additional hazards
  • Optimizes machine operation and limits downtime
  • Makes lubricating, maintaining and repairing machinery safer
  • Provides durability and security
  • Secures dangerous components during the operating cycle

OSHA also recommends taking preventative steps to make the areas in and around heavy machinery safer. These include the following:

  • Training employees on safe practices for operating, repairing and maintaining machinery.
  • Encouraging workers to notify security personnel if they witness careless or dangerous behavior that goes against company identified policies and procedures.
  • Creating a work space that is large enough to accommodate the machinery, as well as the workers needed to operate and maintain it.
  • Reducing immediate distractions by placing the machinery in a secluded location away from high traffic.
  • Maintaining an area that is clean, organized and free of potential hazards that could cause workers to trip and come into contact with the machinery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any component of a machine that presents a potential hazard, should be immediately safeguarded to prevent unnecessary injury. 

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