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Safety Tips | Machinery

Avoid injuries with rollers

January 12, 2011

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People who work on or around roller-compactors are at risk for rollover or struck-by injuries, according to NIOSH. Although rollover injuries and fatalities can be reduced by increased use of safety belts and rollover protective structures, the agency stresses that a safe work space and appropriate training are vital to preventing injuries related to rollers.

To ensure safe work with rollers, NIOSH recommends employers take the following actions:

Prepare the site:

  • Have a qualified person determine the safest work methods at each worksite. 
  • Take steps to minimize the number of workers on foot near rollers. Use barriers to separate workers, pedestrians and vehicles from the machinery.
  • Ensure rollers are not operated on grades that are steeper than the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Prepare the worker:
  • Ensure all operators wear safety belts and personal protective equipment, such as high-visibility vests and hard hats.
  • Be certain machine operators look for workers on foot before moving machinery or changing the direction of travel. Spotters should be used when necessary.
  • Provide workers with site-specific training on proper use of equipment and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Train operators not to jump from machinery in the event of a rollover. Rather, workers should keep knees and elbows close to the body, hold on firmly, and lean away from the impact.
Prepare the machinery:
  • Conduct daily pre-shift visual and operational checks on all equipment and operating controls before using the machine. Verify all of the machine’s safety features are operational.
  • Make sure equipment has rollover protection structures and safety belts. Replace any belts that are worn, damaged or too small.
  • Clearly identify and label all machine controls. Be sure these labels are in a language all workers can understand.
  • Consider equipping machinery with sensors to detect the presence of people or other objects in the path of the roller.

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