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How to help prevent injury when operating heavy industrial machinery


Machinery in the workplace is essential in reducing labour time and increasing production. Whilst industrial equipment is an essential feature of many industries, it does present its own set of problems.

Heavy machinery presents safety hazards and potential injuries to workers. This is why it is vitally important that machinery is kept in tip-top condition and operators are fully trained to work the equipment and are aware of the potential hazards.

As we wrote in our blog titled ‘Safety Tips when Operating Industrial Machinery’, regardless of whether you are relying on machinery that uses Faulk couplings, a Sirem motor or a Danfoss bauer industrial gearbox, safety should never be compromised.

If you or any colleagues or workers are operating heavy duty industrial equipment, take a look at the following tips on how to prevent injury at work.

Keep the machinery guards intact

Machinery guards are there for a reason – to protect the operator from potential dangerous elements, such as flying debris and sparks.

As Plant Engineering advises, the only time safety guards and barriers should be removed is when equipment is being serviced. When barriers are removed, the procedure should be carried out by correctly trained personnel.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should always be used

Whether it’s equipment containing Sirem motorised rollers or Sferax linear bearings, whatever type of heavy industrial equipment is being operated, the operator should wear PPE.

As the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warns, employers have a duty concerning the provision of the use of PPE in a working environment.

According to the HSE:

“PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Ensure operators have adequate training on machinery

In its advice page on Training and Competence, the HSE states that anyone using equipment at work must be adequately trained.

From equipment that uses Spaggiari worm gearboxes to machinery that relies on Sit couplings, all items of industrial equipment have their own safety features and techniques. No worker should be permitted to operate any type of machinery without adequate instruction and training.

The Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (PUWER) is targeted at employers and anyone who is responsible for the safe use of equipment at work. The PUWER regulations of 1998 places duties on employers and organisations whose employees use industrial equipment, regardless of whether or not the equipment is owned by them.

Follow maintenance schedules

To ensure that all internal components, such as Zurrer accessories and Berges speed belts, are working in tip-top condition, it is important that machinery follows strict maintenance schedules.

If services fails to be completed correctly, equipment can overheat and face other potential breakdown problems. Machinery that is being operating below standard can also pose potential safety hazards to operators.

Following the above safety advice will help ensure your employees are kept safe when operating industrial machinery and ensure you are compliant with modern safety standards and legislation.

YB Components offers free gearbox inspection, servicing and reports to our UK customers.  Send us your gearbox  for a full inspection and report – free of charge.