If you work in a garage workshop, welding shop, metal fabrication plant, or any other industrial workplace in Nebraska, your on-the-job safety will largely depend on your employer’s compliance with regulated safety standards. Dangers include a variety of moving machine parts, all of which require adequate safeguarding to prevent accidental contact. Violations of safety regulations can cause catastrophic injuries from amputations to death.
You might be aware that many business owners focus on profits instead of employee safety. You can insist on a safe work environment; however, to do that, you must be familiar with the safety standards mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Any equipment or machine with gears, pulleys or rotating parts at the point of operation, including ingoing nip points and flying sparks or chips, are subject to the following safety regulations:
- Restraints and pullbacks: Safety ropes or wrist straps can protect you from getting within the danger zone at the point of operation.
- Fixed guards: Plastic, acrylic or metal guards, locked, welded or bolted to prevent contact with moving parts.
- Adjustable guards: Guards that are self-adjusting or adjustable manually can allow working with a variety of different sized materials, while still preventing you from making physical contact.
- Sensors or interlocked devices: Even with adjustable or fixed guards in place, interlocks or sensors can provide additional protection by shutting off power to the machine as soon as you break the barrier. The barrier can be either invisible or visible.
- Safety trip devices: These controls work similarly to sensors and interlocks. Steel cables, wires, metal bars, gates or floor mats can serve to trip the power when you step on it, touch it or walk past it to enter danger zones.
OSHA further requires employers to inform workers of the hazards posed by moving and rotating machine parts. Adequate safety training is crucial to ensure a full understanding of the dangers and the necessary precautions. In some cases, employers must provide specific training in the manner in which different types of safeguards work. Bypassing or deactivating safety devices is never a good idea as the consequences could be devastating.
Amputation injuries can happen in the blink of an eye if you work on a machine that exposes you to moving parts. Even if you lose only a finger, it could jeopardize your ability to continue doing the job for which you are qualified. Fortunately, the Nebraska workers’ compensation insurance program will have your back, but securing the services of an experienced workers’ comp attorney might be a good idea. A lawyer can assist with the claims process and make sure you receive maximum benefits under applicable laws.