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Report Unsafe Equipment

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

Agencies do their best to provide equipment that's in good condition, but maintenance personnel are only human and can't keep up with all the problems in the field. Some defects will go unnoticed in spite of every effort made.


Those of you who work with and around machines and equipment are in a good position to notice hazardous conditions. Get in the habit of reporting things that can lead to accidents so that corrections can be made before they result in costly accidents and/or employee injuries. Keep in mind that the person who sees a situation that should be fixed and fails to report it may well end up being the victim of his/her own neglect.


Watch out for the loose or missing machine guard; the moving part with too much play; the un-lubricated machine; the missing nut or bolt; the slipping belt; the loose or cracked shaft housing; or the moving part that can and should be guarded, but has never had attention.


For electrical equipment, watch for the continually sparking motor, the broken switch on a tool, the damaged extension cord, the missing face plate, loose conduit, loose conductors, the burned switch, broken plugs and receptacles.


For conveyors, watch for sharp corners; lack of crossovers, or crossovers in poor repair; unguarded parts on power-driven conveyors; or the lack of a jump-out or idler roller where two conveyors meet.


Naturally, forklift truck operators are supposed to report things that go wrong with their vehicles, just like drivers of trucks. Remember, forklift operators are to be trained to the OSHA standard before operating any forklift.


Those who use hand trucks should be on the watch for flat or frozen wheels, broken cross members, loose toe plates and broken or slivered handles.


All workers should keep these ideas in mind. Do not hesitate to report a condition that may result in an accident or injury to yourself or one of your fellow employees. A pro-active preventive approach should be encouraged, as safety is everyone's business.