The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) “Top 10 for 2018” violations once again have Machine Safeguarding earning a position on the list. Machine safeguarding was the 9th most cited standard as noted in the list below:
This is down one in the order from 2017 where Machine Safeguarding was the 8th most cited standard. OSHA 1910.212 (a)(1) states: “Types of guarding. One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards associated with those created by the point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding are-barrier guards, two-handed tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.”
So, what goes into an effective “Machine Guard”? Well before you can guard, you must first understand the risk(s) associated with a machine. Which leads us to the subject of this blog, risk assessment.
A worker was injured while testing gas springs similar to the type that hold the hatchback of an SUV open. The hazard that injured the worker was an unguarded shear point. The tester contained a mounting plate that was raised and lowered by a pneumatic cylinder.
The pneumatic cylinder lowered the mounting plate while the worker’s fingers were in the hazardous, unguarded shear point. Read More
A mini-excavator at a job site developed a leak at a hydraulic fitting at the base of the cylinder that raises and lowers the boom. A subcontractor foreman at the site raised the boom to search for the leak. The foreman found and attempted to tighten the leaking fitting. When he did, the fitting separated from the base of the cylinder, releasing the hydraulic pressure that held the boom aloft. The boom fell and the bucket struck a nearby superintendent for the general contractor.
Equipment and appliances supplied with fuel gases like natural gas, propane and butane are a common and convenient part of most of our lives. Such devices as gas grills and ranges, ovens, furnaces, space heaters and water heaters usually perform without incident. However, when they malfunction the potential for incidents such as fires and explosions, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and burn injuries may occur. These incidents may be due to design and manufacturing defects in the product, or improper installation or operation of the device.
I recently worked on an interesting case involving a box baler. An employee of a butcher shop put some empty cardboard boxes in a vertical box baler and pushed the control switch to compact the boxes. After the 30 by 60 inch platen weighing 851 pounds returned to its raised position, the employee reached into the open space above the bottom door on the baler and began to clear cardboard from the bale tie slots in the bottom of the raised platen. Suddenly, and without warning, the steel pin attaching the platen to the raised hydraulic cylinder rod failed. The heavy steel platen fell and crushed his arm which was outstretched over the baler door into the compaction space.
Graphitic corrosion is a process that may happen in equipment made of iron, particularly grey cast iron, but also ductile cast iron. Graphitic corrosion can lead to unexpected catastrophic failure of the affected part because the cast iron can lose its strength without a visible warning such as a change in size, shape, or appearance. Read More
A large agricultural trailer had been connected to a truck using a clevis pin with a spring locking clip. The trailer became disconnected from the truck and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The trailer was in poor condition, did not have safety chains, and had substantial recent modifications by the owner. Read More
Container handlers are mobile, rubber-tired, machines that are used to load and stack standard containers at a variety of shipping terminals. The machines resemble oversized forklifts but are equipped with shipping container lift spreaders instead of forks. The machines are often equipped with sophisticated computer systems that inform the operator which container needs to be lifted as well as its destination, whether it is a truck, train, or storage stack. Read More