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Safety tips when operating industrial machinery


The correct operation of industrial machinery is a foundational principle of work safety. Whether you work machinery that uses a Sirem motor, a Danfoss bauer industrial gearbox or Faulk couplings, operating any type of industrial machinery can be potentially dangerous.

It’s no secret that thousands of workers are injured when operating machinery. There are a number of preventative measures every employer and employee should adhere to when operating machinery to eliminate the risks.

In its guide to ‘Why is machinery safety important’, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), maps out a number of ways moving machinery can cause injuries:

.               People can become injured or stuck in moving components and parts of the body can be trapped between belts, pulleys and other pieces of equipment.

.               Rough surfaces can cause abrasion and sharp edges can lead to cuts and severe injuries

.               Operators can become crushed between two moving parts

.               Emissions from the machinery or parts of the equipment that become very hot or cold can cause burns to the skin

.               If machinery develops a fault or are used in an incorrect manner, injuries can occur through unreliability or misuse

To help eliminate the risks that can occur when operating the likes of Enemac clutches, Dinal couplings and Conax clutches, the HSE, the UK’s body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, offers advice on what companies and individuals should do before they start using industrial machinery.

The HSE advises:

.               Ensure all machinery is complete and void of defects. All safeguards should be fitted

.               A safe system for using and maintaining the machinery should be produced.

Maintenance is crucial in the limiting the risks of injuries and accidents occurring when operating machinery. As we wrote in an earlier blog about carrying out regular vibration assessments on machinery, maintenance should include making regular inspections of the critical features on the machinery.

.               A static piece of equipment should be stable – ideally fixed down securely – and installed properly

.               Operators should always choose the correct piece of machinery for the job

.               New machines should be supplied with a Declaration of Conformity as well as being CE marked

The HSE also notes that machinery should be:

.               Safe for work during normal use, when setting up, when clearing blockages, during maintenance and when carrying out repairs for breakdowns.

.               The machine needs to be properly switched off and isolated before any cleaning or maintenance is done or blockages are removed

The workplace regulatory body also advises that operators identify and deal with the risks related to:

.               Pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical power supplies

.               Poorly designed safeguards should also be identified and dealt with.

As Safety Resource acknowledges, industrial machinery is not a toy and should be treated with respect. From operating a Lenze variable speed pulley to a Contitech variflex Z belt, the above procedure and methods should be adhered to at all times to help prevent the risk of injury occurring.

For more advice and tips about different aspect of industrial machinery and components, keep returning to our informative blog, which is updated weekly.