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Working with machines poses numerous safety threats

Working in metalworking and machining can be dangerous. Accidents cause numerous injuries, and some of them are life-threatening or permanent disabilities.

Certain injuries are more common than others, and many of them are preventable.

Common and severe machining injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, inadequately guarded machines are common causes of injuries. Amputation is one of the most serious injuries, although other ones include abrasions, lacerations and crushing injuries. Death can also occur.

According to the American Machinist, machines are not the only cause of work-related injuries. Hand-held tools may result in flying debris that cause eye or skin injuries. They also contribute to musculoskeletal injuries, which are similar to those injuries caused by handling materials and repetitive movements.

Workers may also come into contact with toxic chemicals. This along with improper ventilation usually causes illnesses that show up over time and become chronic.

Another cause of worsening injuries is the fact that sometimes workers may not report an accident or injury when it occurs. This results in not taking the necessary time off to heal and get better.

Prevention strategies

Wearing the proper gear is imperative to preventing workplace injuries. This gear must also be in good condition. Once the materials are of inferior quality, management should replace them.

When it comes to machines, not only should they have proper guarding, but they should also have sensors and other safety systems to warn the worker when something is wrong.

Management should ensure every worker has the proper safety training regarding gear, machinery, tools and other equipment. There should also be proper maintenance and cleaning of all machinery and work areas.