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Five Safety Tips for Machine Workers and Their Employers

Published August 17, 2018 by The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A.

Anyone in North Carolina who has to work around small or heavy-duty machinery should know about the dangers. Improper use of machinery, as well as its poor maintenance, can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Both employees and employers will want to consider the five safety tips given below to prevent such incidents from occurring.

Machine-related injuries often arise from a lack of protective guarding. Saws, lathes and any machines with moving parts should have the appropriate form of guarding on them. Examples include barrier guards, light curtains and two-hand controls, which keep the operators’ hands away from unsafe zones. With these, workers can better avoid burns and eye injuries from sparks and flying chips.

Second, workers will need the right kind of personal protective equipment. This includes everything from helmets to eye and ear protection to respirators and gloves. Employers will need to determine what protective equipment is required after assessing the most frequent hazards in their workplace. Third, employers must ensure that workers are trained on machine safety, preferably by someone already experienced with machines.

The last two tips regard best practices in certain situations. Workers should stay clear of moving parts in machinery and never interfere with those operating it. Interference can cause operators to lose their focus. Lastly, workers should keep away from unloading zones to avoid being injured by a falling object.

Thanks to the workers’ compensation program, those who suffer on-the-job injuries may be reimbursed for their medical expenses and for a percentage of the wages they lost during their physical recovery. In North Carolina, employers with three or more employees must have workers’ comp insurance. Once victims notify their employer of their intentions, they may wish to seek legal advice and guidance. A lawyer may help show that the injuries are accident-related. A lawyer might also assist with an appeal if the initial claim is denied.

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