• Annalee

Safe use of machinery >> Work safe >> Erase the hazard

There are three steps in the safe use of machinery.


This is the most important step. If the hazard in the machine can not be eliminated, then it must be safeguarded. Machine guarding is very important for machine safety because it protects employees from dangers such as rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. This can be done by using fixed guards or interlocked guards.

Fixed guards can be:

  • permanent – welded into or part of the body of the machine

  • removable – but they can only be removed when the machine is stopped with a special tool that is not easily available to operators.

Interlocked guards work by cutting power to the machine when the guard is opened. They are a good guard to use when a machine needs to be accessed often.

Number 2 - TRAINING.

Any operator using a safe system of work must be competent to do the job and be supervised by a competent person. Employers must have a training programme in place that works for:

  • new employees

  • existing employees

  • employees on leave when the safe system of work was introduced.

All heavy, powerful machinery in the workplace requires successful training in machine safety. You have to be taken through a tutorial by someone who already knows how to operate the machine. If you try to operate this machinery without the proper training, you put yourself and everyone around you at serious risk for workplace injuries and fatalities.


Always wear the required equipment: If operating heavy machinery, or even being near an operating machine, requires a certain piece of safety equipment, always put it/them on. No exceptions! Safety equipment is required for a reason. For example, if you need to have on safety goggles, they are required because they protect your eyes from possible flying objects created by the machine. It’s always better to wear the equipment to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities.


The animated video below focuses on these three important points: machine guarding, worker training and supervision, and the use of proper personal protective equipment.

Crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness – the list of possible machine-related injuries is as long as it is horrifying. Machine safety lands in top 10 most frequently issued workplace safety inspection orders. Employers, supervisors, workers, and joint health and safety committee members must work together to recognise, assess and control hazards.

Safe use of machinery is everyone’s responsibility.

Work safe. Erase the Hazard.

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