A power press can present serious hazards to its operator. A power press injury can result in the amputation of fingers, hands, or arms and cause other disabling injuries. Proper safeguards, employee training, press maintenance, and inspections are vital to the prevention of injuries.
A power press can be used in more than one production system and there may be several ways to safeguard each system. For operators, the greatest danger is at the point where stock is inserted, held, or withdrawn by hand. Safeguards are designed to eliminate the possibility of the operator or other workers from placing hands or any other body part from making contact with hazardous moving parts. Operators should never remove or tamper with safeguards.
A power press can be made safe but only its user can prevent machine guarding injuries. Press operators must receive a minimum of eight hours of on-the-job training under supervision before being assigned to operate a press. Operators of complex equipment may need two weeks or more of training before they run the equipment alone. Those working with presence-sensing device initiation equipment must receive training at least annually.
Press operators must know how to use press controls, where possible pinch points or moving parts are located, and where safety devices are located. Operators should be trained to lock out machinery, lubricate it, remove stuck work, and know to whom they should report any problems. Training should also include why, when, and how to use personal protective equipment.
Supervisors must understand all the hazards associated with power presses, how the safeguards work, and how to adjust them. They must check the setup and ensure that each operator has been properly trained. Supervisors should visually inspect each press at the start of a shift or whenever a new operator comes on duty. Each press must be inspected weekly to be sure that all functions are operating properly. And periodically, an in-depth inspection must be conducted.