The Ministry of Labour is starting their first blitz of the year, focusing primarily on machine guarding and lockouts. There will also be a focus on internal responsibility systems, electrical hazards & activities associated with the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
The sectors that will be inspected during this blitz are automotive, food & beverage, wood & metal fabrication, textiles & printing, ceramics, logging (sawmills) and pulp & paper.
In 2013, a total of 1,641 workers were caught or compressed by equipment and 246 workers were rubbed or abraded by friction, pressure or jarred by vibration. These injures were due to guarding and lockout contraventions.
Employees can get injured while performing maintenance and repairs on various kinds of electrical equipment (table saws, conveyors, and mixers). The best way to protect workers is to make sure that the equipment is in a zero energy state while being worked on. A zero energy state is more than just turning the power off. Certain steps have to be taken to make sure that no one either intentionally or accidentally turns the power back on, while a worker is making repairs. OHS laws require equipment be locked out before repairs and maintenance work can be done.
A lot of industrial machines have pinch points, energized parts and other hazards that endanger workers using or working near machinery. OHS laws require employers to have guards to avert workers from making contact with hazards. Poorly guarded machinery can lead to crushing, amputations and even death.
For More Information On This Blitz: