How Can a Photocopier Pose a Health and Safety Risk?
When people think of dangerous machinery which can pose a risk to health and safety they are more likely to think of a heavy piece of equipment in a factory rather than a photocopier. Whilst a photocopier may not be responsible for many workplace injuries when compared with other pieces of equipment, there are still numerous hazards and potential dangers associated with it.
For a start the photocopier will be powered by electricity, and with any piece of electrical equipment there is a risk of electrocution if it has faulty wiring or encounters water, or if an unqualified person attempts to perform maintenance on it either whilst it is still plugged into the mains socket or a build-up of static electricity is not properly discharged before contact with the parts.
Electrical machinery also has the potential to cause a fire if a spark were to ignite a nearby source of fuel in the form of flammable material, the most likely of which is probably stacks of paper which are stored next to it and intended to be used in the photocopier.
One of the most prevalent of dangers when it comes to machinery is that posed by moving parts. These can cause severe injuries if for example a person's hand was to become caught up in them or a loose item of clothing becomes entangled. Most modern photocopiers will cease to function if the access door is open, although there will still be a risk of trapping their fingers when manipulating the different parts and sections that make up a large industrial photocopier.
Large photocopiers which are run for extended periods of time in a business or academic institution are likely to get extremely hot, most especially the internal parts. Whilst protected by the access door/exterior cover, there is a risk of burns to anyone who accesses the internal parts to perform maintenance or clear a paper jam for example.