6 Key Safety Practices When Working With Machines

Machines in the workplace can greatly increase productivity, but they can also increase the risk of injury if not used properly. When working with machinery it is crucial that appropriate precautions be taken so use these following tips to ensure that machine use can be both productive and safe:

  1. Wear safety goggles and proper PPE. Safety glasses are your first line of defense against flying particles from machinery. Other personal protective equipment such as safety shoes and ear protection may also be required for certain jobs. Check the manufacturer's instructions for proper PPE specifications.
  2. Avoid wearing loose clothing, hair, or jewelry as these can be caught in a machine's moving parts. Tie back dangling hair and remove jewelry prior to using machinery and ensure that clothing will not be caught in the machine through the full range of motions.
  3. Be sure you have the proper training specific to the machine you will be working with and in the event you have any questions regarding machine operations or safety, always ask a supervisor prior to using the machine.
  4. Operating heavy machinery involves a high level of concentration in order to execute the job at hand and ensuring safety. Maintain focus and avoid distraction if you are operating machinery and/or avoid distracting others who are operating machinery as well. 
  5. Prior to performing maintenance to or working around a machine, turn the power off and remove the key. Be sure to use required lockout and tagout procedures to prevent equipment from being re-energized and cause injury to anyone working on on near the machinery.
  6. Ensure that machine guards are in place and in proper working condition. Operate machinery only when the guards are present and properly adjusted. Remove guards only when the machine has been locked out and tagged out.