Industrial machine operators and workers who work on industrial machines or machines with moving parts may sustain serious injuries while on the job. Machine operators may sustain injuries such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations and even burns.
In order to ensure machine operators’ safety while working on industrial machines, OSHA’s regulations require that machines be guarded in order to protect workers from hazards and injuries.
OSHA’s standards specifically provide where guarding should be used on industrial machines, i.e., points of operation, which is defined in Title 1910.212(a)(3) Point of operation guarding:
1910.212(a)(3)(i) Point of operation is the area on a machine where work is actually performed upon the material being processed.
1910.212(a)(3)(ii) The point of operation of machines whose operation exposes an employee to injury, shall be guarded. The guarding device shall be in conformity with any appropriate standards therefor, or, in the absence of applicable specific standards, shall be so designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
Examples of machines that have points of operation are: guillotine cutters, shears, alligator shears, power saws and milling machines.
Common injuries resulting from improper guarding of industrial machines are finger, hand or arm crush injuries and amputations. Machine operators often sustain injuries while working on the machines. Their hands and arms may be pulled into the machines when they are clearing out a jam or performing maintenance work.
Workers may also sustain crush injuries and amputations even when they are not working on the machines. Consider the following situation: A machine operator is walking toward a machine when he slips and falls on a puddle of spilled water. As he is falling, he tries to steady himself on the machine by putting his hand on the machine. His hand lands on an unguarded point of operation, and his hand and arm are pulled into the machine causing him to suffer a crush injury. If the point of operation had proper machine guarding, such as a simple barrier, the worker’s hand would not have been pulled in because it would have landed on the barrier.
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If you or a loved one was injured while working on an industrial machine, you may be entitled to compensation. Feel free to call the industrial machinery accident and injury lawyers at White and Williams for a free consultation. 877.944.8396.