There are a number of machines used in industry that incorporate a range of potential hazards. Hazards include:
- Trapping points: Where moving parts of the machine may create a trap. For example, opening / closing mechanisms, presses etc.
- Impact: Where the operator is struck by moving parts of the machine or objects are ejected from the machine.
- Contact: When touching causes injury to the operator. For example, hot, cold, sharp, electricity, radiation etc.
- Entanglement: Where clothing, hair, jewellery etc. could become caught in the machine.
In an assessment of the hazards associated with the operation of a wood turning lather used to form wooden handles, it was recognised that all the above could cause injury to the operator.
In the operations the major hazards occur as a trapping point is created with the opening and closing of the dies.
To ensure the protection of the operator and to comply with the legal requirements, fixed guards with a pneumatic feeding device were designed and constructed by the company. The guarding was specifically designed for the purpose of allowing the operator to load and unload the machine without requiring access to be made.
The fixed guarding consisted of fixed steel mesh. A raw product loader was installed to automatically feed the materials into the cutting knives. The final product is automatically discharged from the process into a collection rack.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- The new guarding arrangements have directly led to an increase in production and a reduction in production costs.
- The easy process has improved the operator’s technique and with the increase in morale, productivity has increased.