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Proper machine guards may reduce workplace injuries

Machine operators in North Carolina and across the United States face more risks of accidents and injuries. This is due to the mechanics of the machines, which often contain hot, fast-moving parts. Because of the increased risk, the Occupational Safety and Health Association has issued rules and regulations to prevent accidents from occurring. Employers are required to train their employees and ensure that precautions are taken to protect those who work such machinery.

One or more guards for each machine are required by OSHA in order to protect operators and other employees. These guards may include barrier guards, electronic safety devices and/or two-hand tripping devices. These guards are required to be in place on a variety of machinery, which includes all power saws, milling machines, forming rolls, shears, jointers, power saws and guillotine cutters.

Even with guards in place, accidents and injuries may still occur. Sparks, flying chips, rotating parts and ingoing nip points all present opportunities for employees to receive on-the-job injuries. In order to reduce these injuries, OSHA encourages employees to routinely examine machinery in order to identify problematic areas, such as unguarded pulleys and blades that may ensnare an employee's clothing. Guarding moving parts with as many safeguards as possible is the best way to prevent accidents from occurring.

Workplace accidents can cause more than just painful injuries; they can result in a family getting into serious financial debt due to the ongoing costs of medical care and loss of work. Employers have the responsibility to ensure that their employees have safe working conditions. However, accidents can happen even in the safest of workplaces. This is where workers' compensation can provide assistance to a hurt worker. A lawyer may be able to help an injured employee collect benefits in order to pay for medical costs and lost wages.

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