Every year OSHA publishes its most frequently cited workplace safety standards, and each year, machine guarding (1910.212) and Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) citations remain among the most popular. Yearly OSHA violations cost companies millions of dollars in fines, and despite advancements in workplace safety, there seem to be the same types of violations each year. Why? Because people don’t know they have machine safety problems until it’s too late!
Today we will discuss four indications of machine safety problems at your facility and steps to help prevent workplace injuries, deaths, and OSHA citations in the future.
Four indicators of machine safety problems at your facility
`1. Outdated risk assessments:
Risk assessments are an essential function needed to ensure the health and safety of staff because the findings help establish controls to minimize the risks moving forward. The latter part of the risk assessment journey is creating safe work procedures at an organizational level. Safe work procedures are step-by-step documents of how to conduct a task safely.
Companies put their staff at risk and have machine safety problems when risk assessments haven’t been conducted annually, including new machine installs, or major changes to an existing machine or production line. When risk assessments aren’t up to date, safe work procedures expire, and staff members no longer have the tools to keep themselves safe around machine hazards - that’s a machine safety problem.
When it comes to machine safety, safety assessments are the first step toward safety standard compliance. MPSA offers different risk assessment options, visit our website to learn more!
2. Not following safe work procedures due to lack of experience, knowledge, or documentation:
Not following safe work procedures at the individual level usually stems from a lack of training, employee retirement and vacation time, or a lack of knowledge. Most companies have a combination of situations, leading to real danger, especially if managers are lulled into a false sense of security because accidents haven’t happened yet. At an organizational level, individuals need to be trained on the updated safe work procedures, and your machine safety stakeholders need to be involved in the documentation process. Without consistent training and documentation, machine safety efforts will come and go - that’s a machine safety problem.
MPSA offers machine safety training, where our experts can train your staff to use and maintain your safety system! We can even create customized training videos for continuous use and provide a machine safety trainer unit to teach others machine-safeguarding concepts. Visit our website to learn more!
3. Unsafe machine guarding (non-compliance) :
What’s considered a safe-use design? A safe-use design is a complaint machine safeguard built to eliminate access, avoid risks, combat unavoidable risks, and has a user-friendly design. Companies run into machine safety issues when these designs lack adaptability to individual and technical processes- that's a machine safety problem.
Machine safeguards should be created with administrative oversight and supervisory control to avoid machine safety problems, and in the long run, proper safeguarding can enhance efficiency.
MPSA fabricates, installs, and validates machine guarding. Our assembly technicians manufacture the machine guard in our ISO 9001-certified facilities. Once installed, MPSA will monitor and validate the system to control the risk. Learn more about our machine-guarding solutions here!
4. Hazard prevention isn't a priority:
Many companies do not have machine safety practices instilled into the foundation of their organization, meaning safety and compliance are often not the top priority - that's a machine safety problem.
But for companies who want to prioritize preventing machine safety problems before it’s too late, you’ll need a proactive approach to identify machine safety hazards on a regular cadence. Machine safety stakeholders can create safety management practices to identify and eliminate unsafe behaviors by inspecting the workplace with staff and asking them to identify any activity, piece of equipment, machine guarding, or material concerning them.
Additionally, before machine safety stakeholders make significant changes to the workplace, work organization, equipment, or materials, they can consult with workers to identify potential safety or health risks. There are many ways to prioritize identifying machine safety problems, but at the end of the day, staff members need to set aside the budget, timeline, and resources for prioritizing and preventing machine safety problems.
MPSA offers machine safety resources for information on creating and maintaining a safe and compliant working environment. Visit our website for free machine safety webinars, the MPSA YouTube channel, and so much more.
Companies need to prioritize machine safety and watch for signs of machine safety problems before it’s too late. MPSA offers turnkey machine safety solutions for all your machine safety problems.
MPSA offers turnkey solutions for helping improve workplace safety and prevent the likelihood of OSHA violations. Request a risk assessment and get started today.
Machine Safety Resources
- MPSA Website
- MPSA Risk Assessments
- Machine Safety Training
- OSHA Standards & Regulations
- MPSA Resources
- OSHA Website
- Federal Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection-1996
- Commonly Cited OSHA Violations