As with all modern machines, equipment for the production of pelleted feed has been housed and guarded so as to virtually eliminate all opportunities to personnel during normal operation. Yet injuries continue to occur. The great majority of these injuries are due to abnormal conditions causing, or coupled with, some hazardous action by the operator. Many times these hazardous actions are an attempt on the part of the operator to correct the abnormal situation more quickly to return to normal operations sooner. We can admire any operator for his diligence in these cases but we must censure him for his carelessness.
Cleaning equipment while it is running, or starting equipment while it is being serviced, is a very common cause of injury and must be guarded against. One of the better methods of preventing this type of accident is to disconnect the power to that equipment and either padlock or hang a red danger tag on the switch.
The opportunity for this kind of accident to happen is very great in the pelleting area. We find much need for cleaning and servicing this high power equipment. In addition to the crumble rolls, the conditioner, the die chamber, the cooler, the elevator, and the screen all require servicing and cleaning. All of these have sufficient power and machinery motion to cause severe injury.
Pellet mill operators, as well as all mill employees, are constantly exposing themselves to other common safety hazards. For instance, electrical shock, through the use of worn drop cords or damaged electrical conduits, is a constant danger. One must be watchful for the signs of these opportunities for electrical failure. Usually they are easily detected by a simple visual inspection.
Another common injury sustained by pellet mill operators is falls. The size of his equipment sometimes requires him to climb to inspect or service some part. He must take care that the ladder he uses is safe to use on the job he is doing and then he must work with care.
A feed pellet mill operator finds his machinery on many floors of his mill. This necessitates a great deal of movement from one place to another. Many times it may be desirable to move hurriedly. Care must be taken in these movements, even though he maintains a clean and non-slippery floor surface.
Each man is expected to carry the prime responsibility for his own safety and the safety of his fellow employees. This responsibility not only requires that he work carefully and safely but also that he insist:
The company should provide the proper, safe tools and work area.
2. The machines should be shut off and “locked out” before being serviced.
3. The use of machine guards, protective equipment and other safety devices should be mandatory.
4. His fellow employees must practice good safety procedures.
5. Everyone should be safety conscious, giving safety the attention it deserves.