Lubrication Safety Practices: Do's and Don'ts
Tags: lubricant storage and handling
- >Do be aware of your surroundings at
all times. Situational awareness as an
industrial worker is paramount.
- >Do perform proper Lock-Out/Tag-Out
procedures when applicable.
- >Do wear appropriate fall protection when relubricating
overhung or hard-to-access machinery.
- >Do use proper protective equipment when handling any lubricant or other hazardous materials such as mineral spirits, degreasers, aerosols, penetrating lubricants, etc.
- >Do utilize the two-person lift method when moving large volumes of oil (generally in drums). Proper lifting techniques are a must. Bend at the knees, not at your hips; keep your back straight; drive your heels into the ground and keep your chin up. Utilize a hoist or mechanical advantage whenever possible.
- >Do wear sturdy, non-skid footwear - steel-toed or safety-toed if applicable to the facility. Slips, trips and falls are the most common workplace injuries. When working with lubricants, the risk of slipping, sliding, tripping or falling is heightened.
- >Do be aware of the nearest eye wash station or safety shower when handling lubricants or other hazardous materials.
- >Do be aware of the nearest fire suppression equipment when handling lubricants or other hazardous materials - fire extinguishers, fire alarms, AFFF hoses, etc.
- Don't goof around or conduct horseplay within the lube room.
- Don't wear open-toed shoes.
- Don't leave ANY lubricant container open to the environment.
- Don't store used or waste oil in the lube room.
- Don't eat in or around the lube room.
- Don't perform non-lubricant-related activities within the lube room.
- Don't store gasoline, diesel, kerosene or other flammable substances in the lube room.
- Don't hold the grease gun coupling as you grease a component.
- Don't reach into or past any machine guards.
- Don't lubricate energized equipment unless the proper safety measures are in place to prevent injury, harm or death.
- Don't drain the oil in a rotating gear box.
- Don't smoke or have an open flame or spark nearby when relubricating.
- Don't perform any lubrication or maintenance-related task on a machine unless the proper Job Safety Analysis (JSA) has been filled out.
- Don't allow untrained personnel to perform lubrication tasks. Call Noria to get them the proper training.
You may have heard a lot of these before, but they still ring true whether you’re the oiler, the maintenance tech or just a helper. Safety should be a priority to each individual, not just each facility. I personally follow safety guidelines so that I stay healthy and fit to go do the things I love to do outside of work. I would hate to get hurt on the job and not be able to work or be there for my family if needed. So remember, when you are sitting in a long safety brief, that safety starts with you, and it is for you.