As a child Saturday evening entertainment came in the form of You’ve been Framed, a collection of hilarious home videos with face plants galore, dogs the size of a small horse taking out their owners, capsizing dinghies, Bride’s taking an unexpected dip in a lake; in essence the best of the ‘banana skin’ moments! Social Media has perhaps taken the place of the bloopers TV shows now, how many of us have now seen the infamous Fenton take on the deer in Richmond Park, as an owner chases his dog as Fenton darts after the deer? It’s compulsive viewing and we are all victims of being sucked into endlessly watching these videos. However on the flip side of these videos put out there to make us laugh are the injuries or potential injuries that could be sustained. This weeks Toolbox Talk is all about injuries that can occur through working with plant and work equipment that could well have made the You’ve Been Framed edit though is an aspect we need to take seriously.
Plant machinery injuries can be caused by parts of the body getting drawn in or trapped between rollers, belts or pulley drives, sharp edges causing cuts, parts of the machine causing burns or electric shocks and a lack of maintenance meaning machines become unreliable and develop faults that injure their users. There are many precautions that you can put in place to ensure you do not have any banana skin (or worse) moments that ends up making you ‘insta’-famous for the wrong reasons.
Before you even get started you must ensure that anyone operating the machinery has sufficient training and is authorised to use that machine. You should then carry out pre-use checks particularly examining any features where deterioration would cause risk and ensure that safeguards fitted are fit for purpose and never removed from a machine. Static machines should be fixed down, mobile machines should have brakes on or be securely chocked and any new machine should be marked with CE. Be aware of the area you are working in, perhaps setting up exclusion zones with clear signage and ensuring the area is kept clean and tidy and free from obstructions, slip or trip hazards. As well as considering your own safety think of colleagues and customers around you that may be at risk. Machines should have clearly marked control switches and emergency stop controls within easy reach. If you are carrying our maintenance work make sure the machine is properly switched off, isolated or locked off. As always, wear the appropriate PPE for all work being carried out on machines and never wear dangling chains, loose clothing, rings or have loose, long hair that could get caught in moving parts.
We may have a laugh at the clumsy member of our team (we all have one) who has us in stitches as we manage to catch their you’ve been framed moment on our phones but we also need to be aware in our industry of the dangers surrounding us and potentially life-changing injuries that could occur.