Are Mechanical Power Presses Safe?
Mechanical power presses are used to cut and shape large metal pieces for the automotive industry. The machinery is indispensable to industrial manufacturers, but its size, power and speed can put workers at risk.
Every year, thousands of workers suffer amputations, crush injuries and lacerations from mechanical power presses. To keep workers safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines governing the use of power presses in the workplace.
Metal & Wire Products Co. Inc. manufactures metal parts for recreational vehicles. After an OSHA inspection in May, the company’s Salem facility was cited for numerous safety and health violations regarding their mechanical power press procedures.
Several of the infractions stemmed from violations of machine guarding and lockout/tagout procedures. Other serious offenses included a lack of brake monitoring safeguards, failing to use safety blocks and failing to inspect presses weekly.
Machine guards are some of the most important safety features on any power press. OSHA offers employers several different machine-guarding options depending on their needs. For example, barrier guards keep workers from coming in contact with the press’ moving parts, while restraint guards secure operators out of harm’s way.
Another important aspect of mechanical press safety is lockout/tagout procedures. When a machine is undergoing maintenance or repair, workers could easily be injured if they try to operate it. For that reason, every machine that is being repaired must be removed from all power sources and clearly labeled nonfunctioning.
These tips may seem unnecessary, but do not underestimate the damage that can be caused by one mechanical power press. Crush injuries and amputations can be life altering and require weeks of recovery. More importantly, these injuries can make it difficult for workers to return to their chosen field.
I Was Injured on the Job! What Are My Legal Options?
Workplace safety is too important to allow careless decisions. If you are hurt on the job, the initial injury and subsequent recovery can be a slow, painful process. Your body may be permanently changed, and the lasting damage may keep you from future opportunities even after you recover.
At Larrimer & Larrimer, we fight to keep workers safe and make sure their injuries are properly compensated. To discuss your workers comp claim, schedule your free consultation today.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys
[Did You Know: According to OSHA, 49 percent of mechanical power press injuries result in amputation.]