Working in a machine shop is a job that demands precision, focus, and an understanding of the tools and machinery that surround you. Every day, countless individuals clock in at these workplaces, trusting in their training and the employer’s precautions to ensure their safety.
No matter how experienced you are, the environment’s inherent risks make it essential for you and everyone else to be constantly vigilant. The primary responsibility for minimizing these risks falls on the shoulders of the employers, who must ensure that the workspace is free from avoidable hazards.
Despite all precautions, some dangers are present in a machine shop. Recognizing and understanding these hazards can make all the difference in preventing accidents and ensuring a safe working environment.
Machinery and moving parts
With various machines running simultaneously, there’s a potential for accidents involving moving parts. The dangers are real, from entanglement in rotating devices to getting caught between machine components. Employers need to ensure these machines have proper safety guards in place and are routinely inspected for malfunctions.
Constant exposure to high decibel levels can lead to permanent hearing damage. Employers must provide appropriate hearing protection and regularly monitor noise levels to protect their workers.
Many machine shops use chemicals for different processes. Without proper ventilation and protective equipment, there’s a risk of workers inhaling harmful fumes. Ensuring clean air quality and training workers on safe chemical handling is an employer’s responsibility.
Slips, trips, and falls
Oil spills, metal shavings and scattered tools can lead to slips, trips and falls. Employers should prioritize regular housekeeping routines and maintain clear pathways, ensuring a tidy and hazard-free environment.
Any machinist who suffers an injury at work should ensure they get proper medical care. Workers’ compensation should cover medical expenses, as well as some other benefits. Working with someone who’s familiar with situations similar to yours can be beneficial.