Working with heavy machinery can be dangerous. That’s why all machinists need to receive adequate training on safety procedures and keep themselves updated on industry best practices. Read on to find out about the 10 golden rules for machine safety that all workers should know about and practice every day to prevent accidents.

Rule #1: Never Remove Safeguards

All modern machines feature safeguards for a reason. The same goes for protective covers, which should never be removed while the machine is moving.

Rule #2: Report Problems Immediately

All employees should report problems with their machines to their supervisors as soon as they notice them. All issues should be addressed by a trained mechanic immediately.

Rule #3: Never Leave Machines Unattended

Machines should only be turned on while there is a machinist present to operate them. Never leave them unattended when the parts are moving, and keep in mind that it takes a while for movement to stop after machines have been turned off.

Rule #4: Don’t Create New Hazards

Avoid allowing any objects to fall into the moving parts of a machine. If any objects do fall into the machine’s moving parts, turn it off immediately and do not restart it until the objects have been safely removed.

Rule #5: Lock Out Before Lubricating

A machine’s moving parts need to be lubricated to ensure safe and efficient operation. This should only be done after the operator has locked out and tagged out the machine.

Rule #6: Don’t Use Damaged Guards

A machine’s guards are there for a reason. Never remove them while the machine is running, and shut the machine down before replacing them. Those who need to replace a machine’s way covers will find that has details that can help.

Rule #7: Wear the Right Clothes

It’s important to wear the right clothing and keep hair tied up to prevent them from being caught in machines. Loose, torn, or ripped clothing and unsecured long hair can all place machinists at risk of being caught in their equipment, so it’s important no one places fashion above personal safety.

Rule #8: Check Guards Before Start-Up

Machinists should only operate their equipment if the guards are both in place and properly adjusted. Workers should check their machines’ guards before beginning each shift to ensure nothing is out of place.

Rule #9: Watch Out for Cords and Loose Wires

Cords and loose wires present a safety hazard for workers who aren’t paying enough attention to where they’re going around machines. While plant managers have a certain level of responsibility when it comes to keeping machines in good operational condition and the work area free from unnecessary hazards, workers themselves should also take responsibility for preventing falls.

Rule #10: Follow Lock Out/Tag Out Procedures

Lockout/tag-out procedures is designed to protect workers while they are performing routine maintenance and repairs on their machines. Everyone in the factory must follow them diligently. If uncertain about when to lockout/tag out a machine, workers should request clarification from their supervisors.

The Bottom Line

Workplace safety should be a priority for any facility that features heavy machinery. While plant managers and floor leaders are partially responsible for providing a safe workplace, machinists must do their part to ensure they are following basic safety procedures. When in doubt, the best thing to do is ask a supervisor for clarification. 

By Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.