What are the top two ways to improve safety for people who work around inherently dangerous rotating mechanical equipment?
- Perform work from a safer distance
- Take faulty machinery offline before it fails
Making that happen is easier than you’d think.
Fluke has five suggestions for improving safety around rotating machinery.
- Be careful of moving shafts and other components
Wear safety glasses and other PPE. Never wear dangling lanyards or necklaces. Make sure that cables are equipped with the proper breakaways in case a cable is dropped into a moving shaft.
- Work from a distance, away from potential danger
If you need to get a part number from a moving machine or measure the speed of the rotating shaft, don’t use your tachometer. Touching the moving shaft is too risky. Use an LED stroboscope, instead. The LED stroboscope “freezes” motion to measure speed, read information from moving parts.
- Use wireless tools or sensors whenever possible
Cables often get in the way during test measurements. And, the longer the job takes, the more time accidents have to happen. A wireless tool or sensor allows you to step away from the immediate work area.
- Identify faulty machines before failure
Catastrophic failure of machine can cause injuries to nearby workers by release of moving parts. Other failures can release product to the environment–very high temperature, caustic chemicals, bio hazardous sewage or other, flammable material, etc.
- Quickly evaluate the risk associated with machine faults
Use a vibration meter or sensor to check machinery. If you detect a change in severity of machine fault, you’ll need to quickly determine whether the fault is moderate (you still have months to go) or extreme (it could go at any time). A failed bearing can lead to a catastrophic failure that destroys the entire shaft, the entire machine, stops production, leaks caustic materials, or injure someone.