Machinery Operation - National Safety Council

Machinery Operation

1% of Non-roadway Fatalities*

Workers in machinery operation play a role in dozens of industries, including printing, fabricating, metalworking, packaging, textiles, woodworking and more. Machines perform specific duties based on the industry, thus operators must have proper training to control the various actions of machines to ensure safety at work. **

The information in each section below is listed in the order of relevance to the hazardous situation.


Situational risks – inherent to the situation or proximate cause of injury
  • Crushed by machinery or load
  • Entangled in machine – body part
  • Energized machine incident
  • Struck by equipment part
  • Electrical shock/arc flash
  • Entangled in machine - clothing
Systemic risks – contribute to injury but are not direct causes
  • Lockout/tagout failure
  • Machine guarding failure
  • Lack of worker and operator communication
  • Faulty equipment
  • Lack of training 
  • Fatigue
  • Improper PPE
Relevant Technology Solutions
  • Automation of process
  • Point of operation light curtains
  • Perimeter access control light curtains

* Safety Technology 2020: Mapping Technology Solutions for Reducing Serious Injuries and Fatalities in the Workplace

**Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Special Thanks to Our Champion Donor:
McElhattan Foundation