Many workplaces - particularly factories - will require employees to use heavy duty machinery which can potentially be extremely dangerous. Moving parts of the machinery can cause injury if a worker is struck. Fingers or hands can be drawn in or trapped between rollers, belts and pulley drives. If parts of a machine, or its emissions, are very hot or cold this can cause burns or scalds. Any sharp edges can lead to cuts or severing, rough surfaces can cause abrasion injuries and pointed parts can puncture the skin. People can also be crushed between moving parts or suffer electric shocks if there is an electrical fault. This vast array of potential injuries which can be caused by machinery means that employers need to be very careful to put sufficient safety measures in place if their employees are required to use dangerous equipment.
Safeguards and a safe system of work
It’s crucial that employers are aware of safeguarding measures when it comes to the use of dangerous machinery. Things like guards, interlocks, two-hand controls, light guards and pressure-sensitive mats must be properly fitted and regularly checked for any defects. There should be a safe system of work in place for using machinery and all relevant members of staff should be trained in how to correctly use it. Aside from preventing injuries as a result of misuse, this can also help to prevent machinery from becoming unreliable or developing faults.
Maintenance is crucial
Many employees suffer injuries because dangerous machinery is not properly maintained. It’s the responsibility of an employer to regularly maintain all their machinery to ensure that it’s safe for use. This should form part of a safe system of work and include routine inspection of critical features which could pose a risk through deterioration. Any employees who suffer injuries as a result of dangerous machinery may be entitled to compensation, so it’s worth having a chat to an accident solicitor to find out where you stand.