Understanding Hazards – Mechanical Hazards

A mechanical hazard is any hazard involving a machine or process.  These are created by the powered operation of apparatus or tools.  The applied power may be machine-generated or human.

Examples of mechanical hazards are unguarded machines, plant machinery and vehicles.

You maybe able to think of others within your workplace.

A person may be harmed as a result of:

  • contact or entanglement with machinery or equipment
  • crushing between a moving part of the machinery or equipment
  • being struck by ejected parts of the machinery or equipment

Mechanical hazards can also be categorised according to the type of injury caused:

  • crushing – when part of the bodyis caught between a moving part of a machine and a fixed object. 
  • shearing – when part of the body is subject to a scissor action from equipment.
  • cutting and severing – when part of the body comes into contact with a saw, knife or guillotine.
  • entanglement – when clothing or hair comes into contact with rotating objects or catches on projections, such as drills.
  • drawing-in or trapping – when part of the body is caught between twoconter-rotating parts, trapped fingers in gears.
  • impact – when a moving object strikes part of the body without penetrating it.
  • stabbing and puncture – when flying objects or ejected objects penetrate the body.
  • friction and abrasion – when moving or abrasive surfaces make contact with parts of the body.
  • high-pressure fluid injection – when a sudden release of fluid under pressure hit the body causing damage.