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Occupational Hazards for New Workers Operating Dangerous Machinery and Equipment

Individuals engaged in labor and the operation of dangerous equipment are most susceptible to safety hazards and injuries as new employees.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) routinely publishes safety bulletins, relating to various areas of notable safety concerns. Of note, OSHA has emphasized the susceptibility of new employees to hazards while operating dangerous equipment, such as wood chippers, mulchers, and other machinery used in the landscaping and horticultural services industries.

It is imperative that new employees receive adequate training on safe work practice to ensure safe operation of dangerous equipment and machinery. New employees are most susceptible to the risks of working around dangerous equipment. These employees should be trained to understand:

· Correct operation of equipment and its safety controls,

· Manufacturer's instructions on operation, inspection and maintenance of the equipment,

· Proper procedures for machine start-up and shutdown, and

· Correct use and maintenance of personal protective equipment.

Furthermore, employers should closely supervise newly-hired employees to ensure that they are safely operating equipment and should reinforce training through regular safety talks and unannounced site visits. When an employee engages in unsafe work practices, or disables existing safety devices, immediate corrective action, including refresher instruction and/or disciplinary measures, should be taken.

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