The steel industry is integral in our every day lives. Not only does it provide the skeletal structures of many buildings and structures, but it is also an important component in kitchenware and advanced technology.
Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous field to work in. While an employee is working on the fabrication of steel, there are many ways to get injured.
Among others, the most common causes of injury are from working with hand tools, having poor guarding and handling materials. However, though, there are ways to prevent these accidents from happening as much, or even at all.
Handling materials is perhaps the largest cause of accidents in steel factories. The majority of these wounds have something to do with the muscles or skeleton, and they generally include minor sprains, but can be as severe as a spinal disc injury.
Although it is often the case that workers may simply have not been following proper safety procedures, these ailments can also have catalysts such as excessive vibration, prolonged bad posture, or constant repetitive movements. In the case of most victims, the wounds occur in or around the joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves of almost the entire body.
If preventative measures are not taken after these problems occur, they can drastically worsen and become chronic. To avoid issues caused by handling materials, workers should have limited or controlled exposure to potentially harmful equipment.
Hand machines are also frequent causes of injury, and they generally affect the same areas as handling materials can. The most common conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist sprains, and wrist tendonitis, among other others.
Most of the time, the reasons for these accidents happening are improper tool selection, damaged tools, and poor workstation design. Not to mention that grinders and other machines can cause eye injuries when debris is flung back. Similar to handling materials, hand machines can also cause injuries through constant, strong vibrations.
A very good way of avoiding these types of issues is to give workers adjustable workstations to fit each of their individual needs and to make it better fit the use of different kinds of equipment.
Especially in the steel making industry, one of your highest priorities should be having proper safety barriers. Without them, employees could accidentally place their fingers into a cutting guillotine, injuring their fingers or even losing them.
Furthermore, without effective guard rails, there is always the risk of a worker falling into a prohibited and dangerous area. To avoid this, there are several kinds of barriers that any good steel factory should employ. Permanently-fixed barriers are used to surround machines that do not need constant repairs or inspections. Interlocked physical barriers generally have one moving part that can shut down the machine if it is moved, which can prevent injury.
Physical barriers are used to cover dangerous machinery. Finally, some advanced facilities use presence sensing systems, which can detect if anyone is nearby, and will cause the machines to shut down for safety measures.