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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C.
Helping Injured Workers In Arizona Since 1973

The many moving parts of machinery safety

Arizona's industrial workers are exposed to numerous hazards on their jobs every day. The machines they work with pose any number of threats to their lives and limbs. Employers are required to ensure that safety measures are in place to protect workers from the many mechanical and non-mechanical dangers of the equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines minimum machinery safety requirements pertaining to nearly every part of every machine.

Any part of a machine that moves poses a danger to workers. Safeguards should prevent employees from getting any part of their bodies or clothing entangled in or severed by any part of the machine. OSHA cautions, however, that the safeguards cannot become a hindrance to the work that needs to be performed. Otherwise, the safety mechanism might be removed in order to allow the work to be done, which could then lead to injury.

In addition, the safety mechanism itself cannot pose any additional exposure to injury. For example, it should not have sharp edges that create a new hazard. Non-mechanical safety measures such as hearing protection, breathing protection or other personal protection equipment should not prevent workers from being able to hear, see or otherwise safely move. Training is essential to understanding why certain safety measures are in place, how they work and why they are important.

When Arizona employers follow OSHA's regulations regarding machinery safety, it lowers the risk of workplace injuries. However, even when as many hazards as possible are eliminated, injuries still occur. If that happens, workers' compensation benefits are available to help with expenses such as medical bills, lost income and other financial needs associated with recovery, but obtaining those benefits can sometimes be a challenge. Enlisting the help of an attorney familiar with this area of law could allow an injured worker to focus on his or her recovery instead of dealing with the frustrations of obtaining much needed benefits.

Source: osha.gov, "Chapter 1 - Basics of Machine Safeguarding", Accessed on Jan. 9, 2017

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