Work related injuries especially with machinery can hurt a business due to downtime, lawsuit and costly compensation.
Work-related injuries can include physical injuries, psychological disorders, diseases, or even death. They can happen while you're at work, travelling to or from your job, on a scheduled break or as a direct result of doing your job. (Source: worksafe.qld.gov.au)
In 2021-22, 14.1 million people were working during that 12-month period. 497,300 of them had a work-related injury or illness. The most common cause of injury or illness was related to ´sprains, strains or dislocations´(29%) and ´lifting, pushing, pulling or bending´ (24%). (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)
What is noteworthy is the statistics work-related injury rates over the years.
In 2005-2006 it was 6.4%.
In 2017-18 it was 4.2%.
In 2021-22 it had gone down to 3.5%.
A decrease in the rate are influenced by various factors. There have been improvements in workplace health and safety, and the number of clerical and service-related roles which do not require use or contact with machinery have also increased. We mustn't forget also that COVID-19 had its impact on the results of the 2021-22 survey. There was reduced economy activity and many workers were doing remote work.
What is WHS?
This refers to Work Health and Safety and it involves managing risks to the health and safety of all the people in the workplace. This includes workers, customers, visitors and suppliers.
It is an important responsibility of businesses and companies to implement safe practices and install safety equipment. Failure to do so can result in prosecution, fines and loss of skilled staff.
One of the aspects of being WHS compliant is in the area of plant, machinery and equipment.
This is everyone's responsibility, from managers to supervisors, maintenance workers to employees. This area includes machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements and tools and components or anything fitted or connected to those things.
Machines can be a hazard to operators and workers. They could be caught in the moving parts of the machine, or be hit by ejected machine parts. In the manufacturing sector, machines are the leading cause of workplace fatalities and injuries. What can companies do to protect their staff?
Abstract Plastics for making a safe workplace
Provide safety guarding for machines.
You need to ensure it is well-constructed and securely mounted to resist impact or shock when the machine is in operation.
Depending on its use and whether access to the danger area is required in certain situations e.g. cleaning, you need to check it is either a permanently fixed or interlocked physical barrier, or one that can only be altered or removed with tools. Some may also have a presence sensing safeguarding system.
If the guarding needs to be removed for maintenance and cleaning, make sure the machine cannot be restarted until the guarding is replaced.
Check whether the machine contains moving parts (which could break or be ejected and hurt someone). If so, the guard must effectively contain the broken or ejected parts.
The machine should also be designed so that bypassing or disabling the guarding is made as difficult as is reasonably practical.
If the machine is subjected to heat or cold, it needs to be guarded or insulated to prevent risk of injury.
Abstract Plastics machine guarding applications
We have experience in using plastic across a variety of sectors including building & construction, transportation, electrical & electronics and industrial machinery.
Plastics are attractive in the construction industry because of their great versatility and excellent strength. They also score in terms of weight ratio, durability, cost effectiveness, low maintenance and corrosion resistance. It is also commonly used in the protection of machinery.
Check out the work we did recently for protective guards for machinery.
Every type of plastic has its unique characteristics and strengths. Our experience with a wide range of material and applications means we can recommend what is most suitable for your needs, always bearing in mind safety and compliance.
We all have our responsibilities to keep the workplace a safe and healthy one to be in. Being WHS compliant means companies can retain staff, improve their productivity, reduce risk, injury and illnesses and their related costs in workers' compensation.
Speak to us about your WHS needs so we can work together to keep workers safe and healthy.
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Need a machine safety guard? Contact us.
t/ (02) 6584 8907
a/ Bay 2, 31 Jindalee Rd, Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia, 2444