Any time an employee in Pennsylvania works with heavy machinery, he or she is at risk for a number of serious injuries. According to, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all moving machine parts have machine guards in place to protect employees from crushed body parts, burns and blindness.

Machine guards are not enough. Employers should also make sure that their employees have the personal protective equipment that is right for the particular job they are performing, and that they know how to correctly use the PPE. Gloves, headgear and protection for eyes, ears and feet should all be provided and appropriate to the hazards of the job. Workers should also receive on-the-job training.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that thousands of workers sustain injuries that lead to amputation each year. Most often, workers lose body parts due to a compression or crush injury, or by getting a body part caught between objects, such as in between gears in machinery.

Inadequately guarded or unguarded equipment causes most of the amputation injuries. These include the following:

  • Mechanical power presses
  • Conveyors (powered and nonpowered)
  • Roll-forming machines
  • Meat grinders
  • Drill presses
  • Milling machines

In some cases, workers may be tempted to remove or tamper with safeguards. The guards should not make the job more difficult by obstructing a view or preventing workers from performing their duties.

In addition to having safeguards in place, many types of machinery should also include devices that interrupt their operation if a worker’s hands come too close to the point of operation.

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