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Does heavy machinery threaten your safety at work?

AdobeStock_139412130.jpgToo many workers in Minnesota have suffered severe or even fatal workplace injuries in hazardous work environments. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety regulations and expects employers to comply with them and protect workers from known hazards, many prioritize profits instead. If you work in an industrial facility, machine safety is crucial if you want to stay safe.

Although your job might involve unique dangers, you might also be smart to take note of other common hazards that threaten your safety. Heavy machinery can cause severe injuries to operators and other workers nearby.

Precautions you can take

The following machine safety tips might keep you out of harm's way:

  • Personal protective equipment: Never neglect to wear the appropriate PPE when you work on or near heavy machinery. These include safety goggles to prevent debris or flying objects from damaging your eyes or even causing blindness.
  • Machine guarding: You may refuse to work on machines with the necessary safeguarding to prevent contact with moving parts, flying sparks or chips. These include barriers, screens, light curtains and devices that need two-hand operation.
  • Proper training: Make sure you have the necessary certification and practice before you operate any machine. Learn all about the risks posed by the equipment, and take the required safety precautions.
  • Avoid interference: Interference with a machine operator or with a machine in operation is hazardous. Distracted operators can make mistakes that could have devastating consequences, and interference with operating parts can cause amputation injuries or even death.
  • Machinery in loading areas: If the loading or unloading is mechanical in your workplace, stay clear of the equipment. Be aware that a malfunction can cause the machine to act out unexpectedly or drop heavy objects.

If you are not the operator of heavy machinery, but a maintenance or repair worker instead, there is a whole list of additional hazards. It is crucial to learn all about lockout/tagout procedures to ensure the de-energizing of machines before you work on them. This can prevent unanticipated activation that could cause your death.

Workers' compensation

If you are the victim of an on-the-job injury, the Minnesota workers' compensation insurance system will cover your medical expenses and lost wages. Many workers in Saint Paul use the services of an attorney who has experience in helping injured workers getting maximum compensation, and you can do the same. This will give you the opportunity to focus on recovering and returning to work.

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The Minnesota Department of Labor and the Office of Administrative Hearings have temporarily halted all in person conferences. In addition scheduled hearings may also be delayed. Atkinson Gerber Law will continue to remain open with a small staff to continue assisting existing clients and answer the questions of new potential clients. The remainder of our staff will continue to assist you working remotely. We understand that this emergency magnifies the already pressing situation injured workers face with wage loss and lack of medical care. There may be some delays in responding to calls but we are making every effort to assist you. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

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