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Safety Equipment and Why Do You Need Them?

Blog | June 29th, 2017

Safety is the byword that protects workers from harm. Ever since the industrial age, that safety factor has been under assault from large, fast-moving machinery. Several defensive lines prevent these sharp and bludgeoning assemblies from injuring machine operators. As you’d guess, proper training is the first line of defence. Doubling up on that operator protecting strategy, a range of safety equipment is next.

Dressed for Work 

Even when machine operators are trained to use their equipment, this intimidating array of machinery just needs one moment of inattention to cause a nasty injury. What’s our first action? Well, before thinking about machine guards, you need to dress right for the job at hand. Dangling jewellery is forbidden, for a strand of dangling metal can be caught in the moving parts. Safety goggles are next, with the lenses stopping metal cuttings from entering your eye. Then there are steel toe-capped shoes and boiler suits to wear. Along with a hard hat, this workers uniform creates a personal safety equipment barrier.

Machinery Safety Basics and Why They Exist 

A warm machine shop causes a momentary loss of focus, or maybe the worker is halfway through a double shift? Regardless of the reason, the machine operator isn’t wholly “there,” so the safety-trained individual’s attention is wandering. That’s one potential scenario, one of a dozen. Perhaps the machinery is about to fail, and a bandsaw will spring free. Operator error or machine fault, there must be a protection system between the two halves of a machine working situation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective safety equipment solutions in a workshop.

Incorporating Different Safety Systems 

Spring-loaded guards cover sharp machine saws and drills. They stop the worker from contacting the abrasive parts that cut into metal workpieces. Furthermore, the transparent guards act as a secondary protection service, one that reinforces the safety goggles. Equipped with the guards, no iron filings or sharp cuttings fly free, nor do they land on the workshop floor where they’ll cut a groove in a rubber forklift tyre. Next, redundant systems exist, so expect at least one electrical emergency stop button to be installed somewhere within arm’s reach, plus a number of cautionary signs.

As for that electricity, it’s a friend as long as it’s properly confined. For example, many safety guards are fitted with microswitches. Basically, the machine will remain electrically isolated until the guard engages the microswitch. Still, beyond electrical and mechanical hazards, many of the work and safety guidelines you’ll encounter are workplace specific. If you’re working in a powdery environment, pair your goggles with a dust mask. Likewise, oil leaks and coolant spillages need safety-centric corrective actions, so keep cleaning tools and fire extinguishers on hand.

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