Maintaining the optimal performance of your machinery involves several steps, and here we will focus on one of the most important: ensuring your machine operators are properly trained.
First and foremost, when a machine operator lacks the proper training, they can be a danger to themselves and to others around them. Beyond those immediate dangers are other concerns such as sub-optimal performance and eventual degradation of the machine itself. In light of these issues, below we will examine how to ensure your machine operators are fully trained to maximise safety and performance.
Maintaining Machine Safety
As anyone working in industry will be well aware, heavy machinery can cause serious injury and even death. Profit margins and repair downtimes pale into insignificance next to the safety of the people operating the machine and working in the nearby vicinity. Thus, not only must every machine operator be fully trained in how to operate the machine, but also in how to operate the machine 100% safely.
The operator must understand all of the safety rules and guidelines and be vigilant in maintaining operational records and maintenance logs. They must take full ownership of the machine’s operational safety and ensure all precautionary measures are adhered to. Even such seemingly simple matters as understanding what each and every machine safety label means is crucial to the training process of a machine operator.
It must be instilled in every single operator that it is their sole responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves, their workmates and the machine itself.
Once an operator has been fully trained, it is worth revisiting their training at suitable intervals. Depending on the machinery involved such as variable speed pulleys or gearboxes and motors, it might be worth a refresher training session every six months, though sometimes more frequently or even less frequently.
Also keep in mind any operational developments, new procedures or new machinery that might need to be incorporated into the new training sessions. Such refresher sessions are also ideal for undertaking a full examination of the machines themselves in order to evaluate any deterioration in their condition and operational capacity since the operator began working with a particular machine.
Train Using Real Machinery
Many machines such as those with the aforementioned variable speed pulleys or gearboxes and motors can jam or jerk in unexpected ways during real operation. That’s why you should never train a machine operator in theory alone. It is vital that they have real hands-on experience in operating the machine correctly while supervised by an experience trainer. The trainer will then be able to assess when the new operator has developed enough skill and knowledge to operate the machine without supervision.
Never Rely on One Operator
If you have only one employee capable of operating a particular machine, then you are at the mercy of their good health. Should they fall ill for a day or longer, then you may need to produce whatever their machine produces without them. This means using an untrained operator, which you should never do. Solve this issue easily by always ensuring that multiple employees are fully trained in the operation of each machine.
If you require any gearboxes, motors or variable speed pulleys, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading machine parts suppliers.