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by the NFCC

Hazard

Casualty trapped by machinery

Hazard Knowledge

In addition to on-site machinery found in industry, other types of mechanisms can entrap a casualty, including:

  • Escalators or moving walkways
  • Agricultural harvesting or baling equipment
  • Fairground or theme park rides
  • Engines or transmission components in modes of transport
  • Household equipment, such as paper shredders
  • Motorised garden equipment

The hazards when rescuing a casualty from machinery include:

  • Needing to work near the machinery
  • Electricity
  • Restricted access and space
  • Difficulties in using the appropriate rescue equipment in a restricted space
  • Deterioration in the condition of the casualty
  • Impact of using equipment near the casualty
  • Automatic or remote activation of machinery
  • Working at height

Escalator or moving walkway machine rooms

Machine rooms for escalators or moving walkways may be situated in remote parts of the building and should normally be locked and secured. These areas may have restricted access or space, which will need to be considered when performing a rescue. Personnel should anticipate that unsecured escalator or moving walkway machine rooms may contain drug paraphernalia, or human or animal excrement.

Access to the machinery for escalators or moving walkways will normally be:

  • Under a floor trap, for smaller locations, such as shops
  • In a separate room for larger locations
  • At both the top and bottom of escalators at railway stations

Personnel requiring access to escalator or moving walkway machine rooms may have to ascend or descend stairs. They may also have to climb unprotected vertical ladders and pass through access panels. Some escalator or moving walkway machine rooms may require personnel to cross roofs without edge protection, thereby increasing the likelihood of falls from height.

If an escalator or moving walkway machine room has to be accessed via a trapdoor or hatch, measures should be put in place to prevent their uncontrolled closure, in order to maintain safe access and egress. Escalator or moving walkway machine rooms may be on split levels and have displaced lubricants on the floor. There is a risk of collision with fixed objects when moving around escalator or moving walkway machine rooms.

The hazards associated with gaining access to an escalator or moving walkway machine room may be increased by the conditions inside, such as noise, heat or reduced visibility.