National Safety Month provides a reminder throughout the year to always think safety when operating any heavy equipment and promote safety for all operators and bystanders. Proper maintenance and awareness will help ensure long-term safety, putting in place a safety 360 mindset. Here are some simple tips from the Rotochopper service team to help keep your work environment safe.
- Always respect the power of the machine, or you will risk serious or fatal injury.
- Ensure all guards are in place prior to operation and keep them in place. Guards protect you from hazards. Never attempt to reach around guards while the machine is running.
- Stay clear of infeed and discharge conveyor hazard zones. Hazards include thrown objects, objects pulled into the grinder, power lines and overhead hazards, and falling material. Stay clear of infeed and discharge conveyor unless power is locked out as the conveyor may start without warning. Infeed hazard zone requires enclosed cab equipment to protect the operator from thrown objects that may travel up to 200 feet. Do not hand feed the grinder because pliable materials, such as metal banding, rope, or vines, may be pulled into grinding chamber with enough speed and force to instantly cause serious injury or death.
- Keep emergency supplies, including a dry chemical ABC fire extinguisher and first aid kit, close and ready. It’s important to train all operators on proper first aid. Checking fire extinguishers daily and making sure they are clearly visible and accessible help ensure they are available in an emergency.
- Check emergency and engine stops before running your equipment. Make sure that emergency stop buttons are clearly visible and accessible to operators.
- Be sure all operators wear proper PPE including a hard hat, eye protection, ear protection, and high visibility reflective vest or jacket at all times. All operators should wear close fitting protective clothing with no exposed long hair, jewelry, or other personal items that may catch on the equipment.
- Use proper lighting if running your equipment at night. Machine operators must be able to clearly see emergency stop buttons and safety labels on the equipment.
- Always ensure all energy sources are locked out before accessing machines for maintenance, and all proper lock-out tag-out procedures are followed.
- Set and lock the Powerfeed arm stop before maintenance with Powerfeed raised. Powerfeed may lower without warning.
You are responsible for your safety and the safety of anyone near this machine, and always remember what this machine is designed to do when you are operating it.
If you have more questions regarding safety procedures for your grinder, contact the Rotochopper customer service department or reference the machine operator’s manual.