Common sense reveals that those who work with dangerous equipment are likelier to sustain injuries on the job. Statistics confirm that assumption, as areas such as manufacturing, construction, forestry and warehousing experience high injury numbers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, just because an occupation may be inherently hazardous does not mean industry leaders cannot reduce risk through proper measures. Government regulations supply one source of safety, yet even then, adherence does not happen. In machining, myths regarding safety standards share responsibility in noncompliance.
Myths regarding machining safety
Some manufacturers may believe that OSHA regulations are only guidelines. However, following OSHA standards is not an optional decision, it is the law. Employers must be sure only to use machinery from manufacturers who adhere to U.S. federal regulations for the workplace to be compliant as well. Either or both parties failing to comply puts machine operators and those nearby in danger.
Using older equipment is not acceptable, either. Any grandfather clauses that may have existed for outdated machinery are no longer in effect today.
Employers may also be guilty of automatically assuming that modern machinery must be up to code because it is new. There is no guarantee that something that just hit the market fulfills safety requirements. Your employer should ensure that the manufacturer follows regulations. Those that meet ANSI or European Union standards offer the most protection due to the stricter rules. Risk assessments can also reveal areas that need better safety measures.
Myths regarding accident responsibility
Sometimes, operators get undue blame for accidents. This does happen, but there is a greater chance that other factors played a role in causing harm. These may be:
- Insufficient training
- Unsafe or distracting work conditions
- Poor maintenance of equipment
Even if you are at fault for your workplace injury, you retain your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.