White Card Update: Beware of the Risks of Rotating Machinery Arms

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In the construction industry there are many opportunities for workers to be injured by the rotating arms of construction machinery. This type of OHS issue is caused most often by worker’s clothing becoming caught in the machine and trapping the worker’s arm or other appendages in the process.

Principal contractors should begin to safeguard workers by identifying machinery that presents a hazard regardless of the speed of the rotation.

Secondly contractors and employers must make sure that their employees are trained on the safe use of these machines before allowing them to use it. Some workers may not be able to avoid working with rotating components on machinery so these workers need to be trained and supervised accordingly.

Workers who operate machinery should ensure that they use it for its intended purpose only and for what it was manufactured to do. They should also follow the manual when operating the machinery.

Workers should be aware of the fact that the main cause of injury with this hazard is entanglement and therefore loose clothing and any dangling objects should be kept away from the machine (such as long hair which is not tied back)

Another vitally important element is machine guards. Machine guards are a legal requirement and can save workers from unnecessary injury, amputation and even death. Ensure that there is adequate signage to warn workers and site’s visitors of the danger of machinery with rotating arms.