Machinery and Machine Guarding
When machinery has the potential of injuring the operator by means such as nip points, rotating parts, flying chips or sparks, machine guarding is required. The requirement is levied in the designer / manufacturer of equipment; therefore machines requiring guarding will initially include appropriate guarding.
For the employees using the machinery, the guarding shall be used as instructed by the manufacturer. Guarding shall not be removed except to replace worn or broken units.
Specific requirements exist for many types of machinery, and are covered in the OSHA regulations cited below.
OSHA CFR 1910.212-219
Keys to Compliance for Supervisors
- Machine guards are required for all machinery having guards when purchased. Machine guards should never be removed except to repair or replace worn or damaged guards.
- Moving machine guards to a different position is not allowed
- Overriding machine guards in any manner is not allowed.
- When machine guards become worn or damaged, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to lock out the machine until the guard is replaced.
- Any employee failing to properly use the machine guards should be subject to disciplinary action
Q. Some machine guards make it difficult to use the equipment. Is it OK to remove these?
A. No. Consider using material handling tools in addition to the guard, to ensure employees aren’t injured.
Q. Where can I find more information on the guards on my machinery?
A. The User / Owner manual will provide information on proper use of the guard, and safe operation of the equipment.
Q. How do I know when a machine guard needs to be replaced?
A. Again, consult the user manual for indications of excessive wear or specifications for the guard. OSHA Regulations also provide specifications for many types of equipment.