Safety and Machine Shop Workers Compensation

Machine shop workers compensation is vital to any business engaged in the use of this type of equipment. Employees who operate and maintain machinery suffer the risk of lacerations, crushing injuries, serious abrasions and possible amputations. Statistics show that accidents can result in fatalities, with over 800 deaths reported per year. This is due in part to exposure to unguarded or inadequately guarded machines, which is prevalent in many workplaces.

Consequently, amputation is one of the most severe and crippling types of injuries in this type of occupational workplace and often results in permanent disability. Before using any equipment in the shop, employees must be trained properly on the use, and the dangers associated with, each piece of equipment and should always be cleared to work by the Machine Shop Supervisor.

Employees should know general guidelines for shop safety

Think ahead before beginning any project. Consider what steps are necessary to complete it and what are the potential hazards. Make a checklist that includes the following:

  • Eye Protection – Any grinding, cutting or drilling of metal and wood will generate airborne particles. Workers must always wear safety glasses, goggles, or shields.
  • Foot Protection – Workers should be instructed to always wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes to protect feet from wood and metal wastes on shop floors, and from heavy objects that can crush feet and toes.
  • Hand Protection – Wear gloves whenever appropriate to prevent cuts, burns, sprains and repetitive motion injuries. Remember to remove watches and jewelry before starting any work. Don’t handle shop chemicals or operate machinery with bare hands, and don’t ignore safety guards on machinery.
  • Clothing – Workers should exercise caution when working with equipment with moving parts as hair and/or clothing could become wrapped or trapped in machinery. Always remove neckties, tie back long hair and roll up long sleeves. Wearing a safety apron will protect the body from flying particles of metal or wood.

Employees should always inspect equipment and machinery for wear, including dull cutting blades, or broken parts before beginning any work, and never leave machines running unattended. Use of the correct tool for the job is essential. Practice common sense when lifting and carrying heavy objects; be aware of narrow doorways where hands can get caught and crushed; when stacking heavy objects, keep hands on either side, not underneath, to avoid crushing fingers.

Consider other people working in the area and let them know of any potential safety hazard. Finally, clean up after work is complete. Put away materials when finished, and roll up power cords and return them to their appropriate storage places. Shop managers should oversee all projects and shop owners must provide machine shop workers compensation insurance for when an unfortunate accident does occur.
photo credit: WSDOT cc