Scand J Work Environ Health 1981;7 suppl 4:115-119    pdf

The determination of effective injury controls for metal-cutting lathe operators.

by Etherton JR, Trump TR, Jensen RC

Operators of metal-working lathes are one of the largest manufacturing machine worker populations in the United States. Machines (other than vehicular) account for over 10% of occupational injuries each year. An estimated 3,400 operators of metal-working lathes suffer lost-time injuries annually in the United States. Some of these are fatal. Therefore an investigation was undertaken to determine methods for reducing injuries to lathe operators. Three methods were used: (i) review of injury reports, (ii) human factors analysis, and (iii) fault-tree procedures. The investigation followed the man-machine systems approach of looking for injury-producing dysfunctions between the lathe and the lathe operator. The major sources of injury were found to be chips and workholding devices. Secondary tasks were found to be more hazardous than is generally recognized. The use of three methods for approaching the problem was found to be useful in that injury controls were identified which are likely to be adopted because of their potential for improving safety without adversely affecting productivity.