How do you train your workers to stay safe around machines? What topics do you need to cover? How do you begin to address them?
If you’re like many safety professionals, these questions dog you at every turn. But with your workers going out each day to spend their work hours around heavy machinery, you can’t afford to avoid these questions. After all, it’s your responsibility to protect your workers from harm.
If you’re in the market for new training ideas, here are a few examples of machine safety training to incorporate into your next training session.
The Purpose of Machine Guards
Machine guarding helps protect employees and machine operators from harm caused by machine components. But if your employees don’t know what they are and how to work with them, they don’t understand the hazard the guard is designed to prevent.
A good thing to teach employees in this training is that any machine part, process, or function with the potential to cause harm should be safeguarded. Generally, the biggest area of concern is the point of operation, which is the point where work is performed on a material.
However, the power transmission apparatus is also a common culprit in machine-related injuries, so make sure your employees understand what that means and how to avoid it. From there, ask your employees to come up with their own ideas about various machine parts that may cause harm.
Types of Machine Guards
A good training idea to complement the previous training is a specific session covering the types of machine guards your employees are likely to encounter.
According to OSHA, there are four types of machine guards:
- Interlocking barrier guards
Fixed guards have to be attached with a specific opening. They allow stock feeding but do not permit access to the danger site.
Adjustable guards, on the other hand, may be readjusted and repurposed for a variety of production operations. They’re far more versatile, but this also means employees have to be extra careful when using them, since they have to adjust the guard between each new task.
Self-adjusting guards address part of the problem. These guards move as appropriate to the size of the stock entering the point of operation.
Finally, interlocking barrier guards add another layer of protection – they cut off or disengage the power source when the guard is open. That way, an operator cannot use the machine unless the guard is positioned correctly.
Machine Safety Training to Empower Workers
The goal of machine safety training is always the same: to empower workers to make safe decisions around heavy machinery. If your training gives employees the tools they need to make smart decisions, then you’ve done your job correctly. Our job is to help you get there, with training software that can adapt to your biggest challenges head-on, ensuring that you always know where your employees stand.