If the employer recognizes that wearing loose chains, jewelry, loose clothing, or other items is likely to cause serious harm, he is obligated to address this hazard under the general duty clause through training and communication. A training program should provide guidelines for safe operation of machinery and power tools, including straightforward advice about not wearing jewelry or loose clothing of any type. Any dangling object is a major safety issue around power tools.
A recent issue of Safety Smart! recommends the following precautions:
- Wear snug clothing when working around moving machinery. Button sleeves and tuck in shirts and pant legs. Avoid wearing scarves and drawstrings. Be aware that even gloves can present an entanglement hazard.
- Never wear jewelry. The hazards of neck chains are obvious, but even a ring can catch and result in amputation of a finger or a worse injury.
- Long hair should be tied or restrained with a hairnet. Hair simply tucked inside a hard hat can come loose and get caught in moving parts. Even a long beard can be a hazard in a machine work environment.
- Make sure all equipment is properly guarded to prevent entanglement and other machine injuries. Report any missing or defective guards and shields to your supervisor.
- Never remove or block a machine guard.
- When doing adjustment or repairs, follow the correct lockout and tagout procedures, and replace guards before returning the machine to service.
- Know how to quickly locate the emergency stop and start controls on all machinery in your work area.
Information contained in this article was provided through the Safety & Health Committee of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.
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