Preventing Machine Entanglement
Moving parts of machinery can be categorized into specific places where workers are most at risk. They are pinch points, crush points, and wrap points.
- Pinch points exist where two or more parts of the machinery are moving together and one of those is moving in a circle. A conveyor belt is a good example.
- At crush points, two components are moving toward each other as in a hydraulic cylinder.
- Wrap points consist of exposed rotating components and include lathes, augers, and other rotating equipment.
To protect workers from the danger of entanglement and prevent contact, safeguards must be fitted to these points on the machinery. The guards should fit properly and be free of sharp edges that could cause lacerations. If possible, the safeguard should not be easily removable to prevent tampering.
Other Protective Measures
Additional safety measures that should be in place include:
- Dress codes – Workers should never wear loose-fitting clothes, chains, bracelets, rings, or other jewelry that can become entangled in machinery. Long hair must be tied back. Special care should be taken with protective clothing and equipment so that it does not create a hazard. For example, protective gloves or hi-visibility vests could potentially be pulled into moving equipment.
- Emergency shut off systems – All workers dealing with moving machinery should be aware of and know how to operate the emergency shut off. Workers should be assigned in groups so that no worker is alone with machinery that poses an entanglement risk.
- Warning signs – Adequate signage should be posted near hazardous machinery as a constant reminder for employees.
- Regular inspection and maintenance of machinery and machine safeguarding systems – Only qualified personnel should do any adjustments or maintenance of equipment. Before such work is performed, the machine should be shut down with a lockout/tag-out system and allowances made for any stored energy and necessary run-down time.
Injuries from machine entanglement can be serious and life-threatening requiring long hospital stays and expensive rehabilitation afterward. Workers who have suffered injuries in a work-related machine entanglement accident are advised to seek the counsel of a qualified Philadelphia work accident lawyer to ensure they receive all the Workers’ Compensation benefits available to them. Workers may be entitled to wage loss benefits and benefits for medical care including hospital treatment, prescription medications, and prostheses. Families who have lost a loved one may be eligible for death benefits.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Fight for Victims of Machine Entanglement Accidents
The skilled and experienced Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP provide injured workers with knowledgeable legal representation so that they can focus on their recovery. Call 215-512-1500 today to schedule a free consultation in our Center City Philadelphia offices. You can also complete our online contact form.