Safety Alert - Managing equipment in the workplace

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Equipment can take many different forms including machinery, tools, and personal protective equipment.  Some of this equipment has a short life span, like that of a dust mask that may only last for a single use, while other equipment such as a lathe that could last for 30 years or more.  Some equipment requires routine maintenance and cleaning while others may not.  It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instruction for routine maintenance and care.  Failure to properly maintain equipment can lead to a wide variety of injuries that could include cuts, lacerations, slips, crushing, struck-by, caught-in and a number of other types of injuries that can be the result of mechanical failure or protective equipment not providing adequate levels of protection.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Do you have equipment that requires routine maintenance?
  • Are there established procedures to take equipment out of service?
  • Are employees familiar with how to inspect and maintain equipment?

What action can you take to prepare for managing equipment in the workplace

  • Inventory all equipment within your facility and determine the frequency for cleaning, inspecting, maintaining, and replacing each piece.
  • Train employees to be familiar with how to clean, inspect and maintain equipment.
  • Ensure that employees know the procedure for ordering replacement equipment.
  • Assign accountability for equipment maintenance tasks.
  • Develop a procedure for employees to report equipment in need of repair.  Determine how this equipment will be taken out of service.

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