Entanglement Hazards

September 14, 2015 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Entanglement hazards receive the greatest publicity in the agricultural industry, where nearly 4 in 10 injuries are entanglement related. However, employees operating or working around equipment in industrial settings are also at risk.

Machines and equipment can pose an entanglement hazard if they have:

  • Pinch points, where two or more parts move together, and one of them is moving in a circle (pulley and belt systems, including conveyors and the escalator that killed Michael Smith fall into this category).
  • Crush points, where two components move toward each other, as happens in three-point hitches and hydraulic cylinders.
  • Wrap points, created by exposed rotating components

    Preventing Entanglements

    Safeguards that can prevent these kinds of deadly accidents include:

  • Guarding. Moving parts on machinery should be guarded to prevent any part of the worker’s body from contacting the machine’s moving parts.
  • Dress codes. Workers should not wear loose-fitting clothing, chains, or other loose jewelry around equipment that poses an entanglement hazard. Long hair should be tied back to keep it safely out of danger.
  • Safe work practices. Workers should not work alone with potentially entangling machinery. Before performing adjustments or maintenance operations, qualified workers should shut down and lockout equipment.
  • Emergency shutoffs. Workers who work with or around machinery should know where to find and how to operate emergency shutoffs. When a worker becomes entangled, a quick response may save a life.

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