During 2017, there were over 36,000 injuries related to machinery in the United States. There were 6200 non-fatal amputations, nearly 60% involving machinery. There were close to 3000 fatalities in 2019. Machine accidents are often overlooked because there aren't multiple fatality explosions or major news events like you see with the process industry incidents. We may think machinery is safer than it is because it doesn’t get the media coverage.
The truth is, there are still a very high number of fatalities and injuries that are occurring today and that’s something that we need to focus on. Machining environments are hazardous. There are many types of hazards that exist in those environments. We've got mechanical hazards like cutting and crushing. We've got electrical hazards. There are hazardous emissions, heat, chemicals, specific impacts. We continue to see machinery related incidents lead to fatalities and serious injuries.
There have been lots of improvements in machine safety, but it’s up to the organizations to expose individuals to high levels of safety. Machine operating companies need to leverage technology improvements. They need a holistic lifecycle driven approach, managing both people and technology. By putting those two halves together, they can move the industry forward, lowering the numbers of fatalities and numbers of serious incidents.
If you would like to learn about the machine safety lifecycle and much more check out our SELF-PACED: FSE 110 - Machine Functional Safety Engineering course.