OSHA Safety Manuals | Shop Hazards & Typical Incidents
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shop hazards

Shop Hazards & Typical Incidents

Shop Hazards & Typical Incidents

An incident is defined as “any observable human activity sufficiently complete in itself to permit references and predictions to be made about the persons performing the act.” (Whew!) Therefore, it is safe to say that incidents or accidents do not usually just happen; they happen for a reason and are usually due to unsafe acts or conditions. The following is a list of incidents that have typically led to employee accidents. This list focuses upon shop work, but of course there are many other unsafe acts, conditions, or work activities that give cause for concern. Which of these conditions have you perhaps worked under in your shop or maintenance area?

  1. Adjusting, or cleaning a machine while it is in operation.
  2. Removing a machine guard or tampering with its adjustment.
  3. Using compressed air over 30 psi to remove metal chips from work surfaces.
  4. Using compressed air over 30 psi to blow dust or dirt off clothing or out of hair.
  5. Working without safety glasses and/or a face shield in a designated eye-hazard area.
  6. Failing to use ear plugs in work areas with high noise levels.
  7. Wearing gloves, ties, rings, long sleeves, or loose clothing around machine tools.
  8. Using a grinder with no tongue guard or properly adjusted work rest (1/8 in. max. clearance).
  9. Lifting an object that you know is too heavy for one person to handle.
  10. Using an ungrounded or non-insulated portable electric hand tool.
  11. Using frayed or poorly patched electrical cords.
  12. Smoking in areas where flammables or combustibles are used or stored.
  13. Storing spare oxygen and acetylene bottles near each other when not in use.
  14. Using cranes beyond their load limits or with a missing safety latch on the hook.
  • Have you ever engaged in any of the above actions and suffered injuries? Was it worth it?
  • Have you ever worked under any of the above conditions–and NOT suffered an injury?
  • If you’ve been lucky so far, isn’t it foolish to become complacent?

The above actions have caused many serious, sometimes fatal, injuries in shops and work places–and are just not worth the possible consequences!

Don’t be another “typical” incident statistic. Work smarter! Work safely!