Workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer approximately 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, abrasions, and over 800 deaths per year in the United States alone (OSHA source). These incidents can be minimized or eliminated through machine guarding. Installation and regular maintenance of machine guards can prevent worker’s body parts from making contact with hazardous machine equipment and flying debris. Additional defenses such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and proper training are key to ensuring safety when operating machinery in your workplace.
Machine Guarding Safety Tips
Employers should strive to keep their workplace and workers safe particularly when working with machinery. Here are some safety reminders when working with machine guards:
- Always check if guards are properly installed before commencing work.
- Machine guards must be placed in proper position and prevent physical contact with the operator.
- Ensure machine guards are secure and strong.
- Ensure workers cannot bypass, remove, or tamper machine guards.
- When installing machine guarding ensure that no objects can fall into moving parts of the machine.
- Ensure employees are trained on a specific machine guard.
- Machine guards should not obstruct the operator’s view.
- If possible, the machine should be lubricated without removing machine guards.
- A competent person must correct the machine guard immediately if defects were detected.
- Machine operators should be trained on the hazards associated with particular machines.
- Employees should be aware of emergency protocols.
- Lockout the machine before removing guard when performing maintenance.
Mobile-ready Machine Guarding Inspection App
Use iAuditor, the world’s most powerful inspection app, to conduct safety inspections before and after machine operation. Use this free collection of customizable machine guarding safety templates to capture photos of machine deficiencies, create corrective actions, and generate on the spot reports with a handheld device.