In addition to safeguarding mechanical motions, machines present a variety of other hazards which cannot be ignored.
All power sources for machines are potential sources of danger. When using electrically powered or controlled machines, for instance, the equipment as well as the electrical system itself must be properly grounded. Replacing frayed, exposed, or old wiring will also help to protect the operator and others from electrical shocks or electrocution.
High pressure systems need careful inspection and maintenance to prevent possible failure from pulsation, vibration, or leaks. Such a failure could cause, among other things, explosions or flying objects.
Machines often produce noise (unwanted sound) which can result in a number of hazards to workers. Noise can startle and disrupt concentration, and can interfere with communications, thus hindering the worker’s safe job performance. Research has linked noise to a whole range of harmful health effects, from hearing loss and aural pain to nausea, fatigue, reduced muscle control, and emotional disturbance. Engineering controls such as the use of sound-dampening materials, and personal protective equipment, such as ear plugs and muffs, can help control the harmful effects of noise. Also, administrative controls that involve removing the worker from the noise source can be an effective measure when feasible.
Because some machines require the use of cutting fluids, coolants, and other potentially harmful substances, operators, maintenance workers, and others in the vicinity may need protection. These substances can cause ailments ranging from dermatitis to serious illnesses and disease. Specially constructed safeguards, ventilation, and protective equipment and clothing are possible temporary solutions to the problem of machinery-related chemical hazards until these hazards can be better controlled or eliminated from the workplace.
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