Industrial injuries can be debilitating and life-endangering; there are reasons that safety rules exist for jobs that require operating heavy machinery. Remember that if you chop your finger off or crush your hand, you’ll wish you had paid more attention. So make sure to always be careful and obey operating procedures carefully; it is so much better to be safe than sorry.
There are ways to prevent accidents involving heavy machinery, though there are always freak accidents that can’t be helped no matter what. Freak accidents aside, there are some practical ways you can protect yourself, both by following the rules and adding a few of your own. The spine, hands, head, lungs, eyes, skeleton, and skin are the primary areas of your body that are at a risk for injury.
Common Industrial Injuries:
Silicosis: also called Grinder’s disease, silicosis is a respiratory disease that is caused by working in a confined, dusty environment. Take precautions against this by always wearing a mask or respirator when you’re working with potentially dangerous materials like fiberglass and asbestos.
Air embolism: an air embolism occurs when small pockets of air get into a person’s blood stream. It is caused by working with compressed air close to cuts in the skin. This can be avoided simply by wearing bandages or hand protection over any cuts or abrasions.
Asbestos poisoning: this happens through working in close proximity to asbestos and usually through the inhalation of dust containing amounts of the toxin. Avoid asbestos if you can, but if you can’t, always wear a respirator; a face mask won’t be nearly as effective.
Decompression sickness: otherwise known as the bends, this sickness is a group of symptoms that are caused by working in a high pressure environment, such as under water. Avoid this by taking the necessary safety precautions outlined in the job manual for your workplace.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome: HAVS, or ‘white finger,’ is a vascular disease caused by long-term use of vibrating tools. If you are concerned about this potential danger, talk to both your doctor and your supervisor; more often than not you can come to an arrangement, especially if your physical safety is being compromised.
Common Causes of Work Injuries Related to Heavy Machinery:
Some common causes of injury due to heavy machines include: the misuse of vehicles, lifting of heavy loads, machinery or tool failures, and exposure to toxins or general hazards. Inadequate safety equipment, clothing and training, jewelry, or long hair that is caught or tangled in heavy machinery, are all examples of factors that contribute to workplace injuries.
General Workplace Hazards:
General hazards that an individual may encounter on the job include exposure to electricity, explosive materials, fire, flammable gasses, heights, heat, high pressure gasses or liquids, hot materials, fast moving or sharp machinery, and toxic chemicals.