In our last article, we focused on preventing falls in the workplace. This time, we are back to help prevent equipment-related injuries. Because construction site injuries can be caused by equipment misuse, the harm can often be very serious. Heed this advice to prevent machine and equipment-related injury for your construction workers.
Causes of Equipment Mishaps
According to Michael Maggiano, a defense lawyer who has successfully won cases for clients injured on a construction site, “The most frequent cause of machine injuries is unguarded and exposed moving parts.” Although the technology to safeguard these functions has been available for many decades, not all manufacturers apply significant safety measures to their tools and machinery.
A product warning is not the same as mechanisms to prevent injury. If you are working with machinery that has a moving part such as a saw blade, wheels, an electronic pulley system, a press, or anything in motion – you are at risk. Read about proper guarding on machines and equipment here.
Equipment-Related Injury Prevention
One of the easiest ways to prevent equipment-related injury is to dress appropriately. Loose clothing can easily get caught in moving parts. Wear clothes that fit close to the body and pull back your hair so it does not get in the way. Another prevention method is to always unplug or shut down whatever machine you are using when not in use. Leaving the slim possibility that you will accidentally bump a switch when not in position can get you caught in a bad situation.
Lastly, knowledge is power. Never operate equipment you have not been fully trained in using. Practice before you get started and if you do not quite know how to do something with your machine, trial and error is not the way to find out. Seek help from experienced colleagues to stay safe.
This article is part four in a series. Be sure to visit our previous installments: preventing overexertion, slips and trips, and falls. With foresight and careful planning, workers can all stay safe on a construction site.