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What is the importance of machinery safety?

In many ways, moving machinery can cause injury.

  • Moving parts of machinery and ejected materials can cause injury or even strike people. An individual’s body parts can also be pulled in and trapped between belts, pulley drives, rollers, and belts.

  • Sharp edges can cause severe cuts. Sharp-pointed parts may cause punctures or stabbing of the skin. Rough surfaces can cause friction and abrasion.

  • People can be crushed between moving parts or towards fixed parts of the machine or object. Two parts moving past each other can cause shearing.

  • The machine's parts, materials, and emissions can be too hot or too cold to cause burns. Electricity can also cause electric shock and burns.

  • Machines can become unreliable or develop faults, or machines are misused improperly due to inexperience or lack thereof. Injuries may also result.

Safety tips for machinery workers


  • Make sure the machine is in good condition and ready to use. Also, ensure that the machine has all safety features such as guards, alarms, locking mechanisms, emergency off switches, and isolators are in place.

  • Use the machine correctly and according to the manufacturer's instructions

  • Make sure that you have the proper protective clothing and equipment for the machine such as safety glasses, hearing protection, and safety shoes.


  • Use a machine or appliance with a warning sign or tag attached. Only an authorized person should remove danger signs if they are satisfied that the machine is safe.

  • Wear dangling necklaces, loose clothing, rings, or long, untied hair that could be caught in moving parts.

  • People who use machines can be distracted.

  • Even if they seem to make it more difficult, remove all safeguards.

Before you begin

You should think carefully about the risks that could occur before you use any machine. The following should be done:

  • Make sure that your machine is fully functional and has all safety features installed. "Safeguarding" includes guards and interlocks, light guards, pressure sensitive mats, two-hand controls, light safeguards, guards, and two-hand controls. The law requires that suppliers provide adequate safeguards and inform buyers about any residual risks. These risks are not possible to design out.

  • Create a safe method of using the machine and for maintaining it. Inspection of critical components that are at risk may be required. Make sure you review the instructions/ information provided by the manufacturer to identify any residual risks and ensure they are part of the safe work system.

  • Make sure that every static machine is properly installed and stable (mostly fixed down).

  • Make sure you choose the right machine for your job. Don't place machines in areas where visitors or customers could be at risk.

  • Notify your dealer that all new machines must be CE-marked and come with a Declaration of Conformity. Instructions in English are also required.

Verify that the machine is:

  • Safe for all work required during installation, normal use, clearing blockages, repairs for breakdowns and planned maintenance.

  • Before you take any action to clean, adjust, or remove blockages, make sure that the machine is properly turned off and locked off.

You should also identify and address the following risks:

  • Power supplies for electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic purposes

  • Poorly designed safeguards. They may not be easy to use, or they could be easily ignored. This could lead to your workers being unable to comply with the law and causing injury. Find out why they do it and take the appropriate steps to address them.

Protecting dangerous parts

Consider how you can make your machine safer. You should use the following steps to protect dangerous parts. Sometimes, it might be necessary to combine these measures.

  • To enclose dangerous parts, use fixed guards (eg bolts or screws) whenever possible. These guards should be made of the highest quality material. Plastic may be visible but can easily be damaged. Use wire mesh and similar materials where possible. Make sure that the holes aren't too large to allow for moving parts.

  • Fixed guards may not be practical. You can use other methods such as interlocking the guard to prevent the machine from starting before it is closed. The guard cannot be opened while the machine's still moving. Trip systems, such as pressure-sensitive mats, automatic guards, or photoelectric devices may be used in certain cases.

  • If guards are not able to provide full protection, jigs and holders can be used if practical.

  • You can reduce any risk remaining by giving the operator the information, training, supervision, and the appropriate safety equipment.

You should also consider the following:

  • Programmable electronic systems allow machines to be controlled by computer programs. Any changes to the programs must be made by someone who is competent (someone with the required skills, knowledge, and experience to safely complete the work). You should keep a log of all such changes and verify that they were made correctly.

  • Make sure that control switches are clearly labeled to indicate what they do

  • It is important to have emergency stop buttons, such as the mushroom-head push buttons, within easy reach.

  • To avoid injury and accidental operation, ensure that operating controls are properly designed and placed. Use two-hand controls wherever possible and cover start and pedal buttons.

  • Unauthorized, unqualified or untrained persons should not be allowed to use machinery. Never allow children to operate machines or assist with them. Certain workers, such as young people, new starters or persons with disabilities, are at particular risk. They will need training, supervision and instruction.

  • Proper training is essential to ensure that all who use the machine can do so safely. This means that they are competent in using the machine safely. Sometimes formal qualifications may be required, such as for chainsaw operators.

  • To be effective, supervisors should also be competent and properly trained. Supervisors may require additional training. There are recognized courses for them.

  • Make sure the area around the machine is clean, tidy, free of obstructions, slips, trips hazards, and well lit.

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