Machine Shop Safety – Entanglement Hazards

Entanglement hazards in machine shops are particularly concerning due to the presence of rotating equipment, and in-running nip points, which can cause severe injuries such as amputation, disembowelment, scalping, degloving, or death. These hazards occur when body parts, clothing, or other objects become entangled in rotating equipment or are drawn into the space between a rotating element and a fixed or rotating component. To effectively address entanglement risks, this machine shop implements several rules and precautions:

Long hair must be secured and out of the way: Workers and students are required to secure long hair in a tight bun or wear it under a hat to prevent entanglement with rotating machinery. All hair must be secured with no loose strands.

No clothing or jewelry below the elbow: Loose clothing and dangling jewelry increase the risk of entanglement with moving machine parts. Workers and students are instructed to wear clothing that does not extend below the elbow to minimize this hazard.

No gloves allowed except for welding (covered separately): While gloves offer protection against various hazards, they pose a serious hazard in environments with rotating machinery. In a machine shop setting, gloves can become caught in moving equipment, leading to entanglement injuries.

No loose clothing: Properly fitted attire reduces the likelihood of clothing becoming entangled in rotating equipment, enhancing workplace safety. Avoid wearing clothing with features such as extra pockets, loops, or tassels.

Never use rags on moving equipment: The use of rags or towels on moving machinery poses a significant entanglement hazard, as rotating parts can catch and pull in the worker’s hand. Instead, designated cleaning procedures and tools should be employed for equipment maintenance.

Keep hands clear of rotating equipment. Do not point: It’s crucial for workers to maintain a safe distance from rotating machinery and refrain from pointing, as in-running nip points can pull in flesh and clothing, causing serious injuries.

Do not remove guards from equipment: Guards are designed to prevent access to hazardous areas and should never be removed. Doing so increases the risk of entanglement accidents.

In-running nip points can be found in various machine components such as belts, chain drives, and gear trains. These points pose a significant risk of entanglement and require caution when working near them.

By strictly enforcing these rules and emphasizing safety protocols, machine shop operators can minimize the risk of entanglement incidents. Furthermore, providing comprehensive training to students and workers on identifying and mitigating entanglement hazards enhances overall safety awareness in the workplace.