New technology can be introduced into the workplace to eliminate or reduce an employee’s exposure to hazards.
An engineering company that manufactured drill bits recognised that their lathe operators were being exposed to unnecessary risks. The operator could become trapped in the nip points of the lathe or entanglement could occur with rotating parts.
To overcome these problems, the company installed an automatic traversing loading arm. The loading arm is fitted with a device which places the drill bits into a container ready for removal.
To deny access to the loading arm, fixed guarding was installed as well as a sliding interlocked guard which is wired into the operating mechanism of the loading arm and lathe. An air-operated sliding interlocked guard was also fitted to the lathe which denies access to the chuck and cutting unit.
If either the sliding interlocked guard on the lathe or the interlocked guard over the traversing loading arm are opened, neither the loading arm or lathe will operate.
Hierarchy of Controls:
A production-oriented solution that reduced operator exposure to dangerous parts and has effectively lifted employee morale.