WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety alert about the risk of sustaining serious or fatal injuries when entering the operating space of plant.
The alert was issued following an incident involving a CNC turret punch press, which is designed to punch shapes into sheet metal by following programmed instructions.
When the machine is in operation, powered components can move suddenly at high speed and without warning, such as the carriage holding the sheet metal and the table sections supporting it.
The operator of a CNC turret punch press was recently crushed when he entered the plant’s operational space between the carriage and a ball transfer table that abutted the edge of the press’s primary table.
The alert said employees are at high risk of death or serious injury when systems of work do not prevent access to danger areas of powered plant, such as moving parts and trapping spaces.
For example, depending on the various components of a turret punch press and its proximity to other environmental and physical features, a crush space can sometimes be created. This can be a temporary opening where a person can enter and become trapped.
Administrative controls, such as training and line marking on the floor to deter employees from entering into a plant’s danger areas, cannot be relied upon to adequately control the risks associated with plant.
The alert said the risk of being injured by a turret punch press should be controlled by:
The alert said the following points should also be considered: