Safety Guarding

The Basics of Safety Guarding on Machines in Equipment

Safety guarding on machines and equipment prevents or reduces access to dangerous areas of the machine. All machine guarding must be of solid construction and securely mounted to the plant, to resist impact or shock from the operation. If you need to remove guarding for maintenance and cleaning, you must take steps to ensure that the plant cannot be restarted until you replace the guarding.

Safety Precautions in the Workplace

If the plant contains moving parts and those parts may break, disintegrate or be ejected, the guard must contain the broken or ejected parts.  If you manage or control a plant, you must make sure the guarding is a permanently fixed physical barrier, or an interlocked physical barrier, or a physical barrier the use of tools can only alter or remove that or is presence sensing safeguarding system.

You must also make sure that safety guarding makes bypassing or disabling the guarding as difficult as reasonably practical any pipe or other part of the plant subject to heat or cold is guarded or insulated if there is a risk of injury.

Machine guards are tangible materials used to keep employees from having direct contact with a machine’s moving parts. Some guards help protect you from kickbacks, flying chips and splashing liquids. Guards can come in the form of sheet, woven or expanded mesh steel. Some machine guards are made of wood. This is usually the case in chemical or wood manufacturing industries, or operations that involve chemicals that might corrode metal.

Safety Guards, Bolts, and Nuts

The following are some examples of equipment or machines that require the use of guards chains, gears, pulleys, cranks, sprockets, and connecting rods, rope, belt and chain drives, projecting shaft ends transmission shafts, flywheels, portable saws, belt tighteners, portable belt sanders, portable grinders, pneumatic tools, powder actuated tools, openings for frequent oiling, and many more.

These are the two types of guards that protect machine operators from injuries: Fixed guards, protect you from hazardous parts of machines at ALL times. Only authorized personnel may adjust fixed guards. Interlocking guards used only if using a fixed guard is not feasible. Guard hazards parts before any operation. Secure all guards to the machine. Keep guards away from pinch points. Fasteners used in securing guards to a machine must require the use of tools for their removal. Brace all guards every 3 ft., or less, to a fixed part of a structure or machine. Guardrails must be at least 42 in. high with a clearance of at least 15 in., but not over 20 inches from the machine. Toe boards must be at least 4-inch n height.

Remember, with a combination of the use of safety guarding, tagout, blackout, and lockout procedures, along with the right PPE and proper training of employees in machine operations, you don’t have to worry about machine-related accidents in your workplace.

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