Machinery and Machine Guarding

General Requirements
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

Frequently-Asked Questions

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.