What is Machine Guarding?

When operating any type of machinery with moving parts, the smart thing to do, is to have guards in place to protect you from those moving parts. A key phrase to always remember, machines have no conscience. Each day in the workplace, workers are exposed to moving parts; these moving parts can cause cuts, abrasions, amputations, and even death. Before operating any type of machine with moving parts, always inspect it, to ensure it is in good operating condition, no missing or broken parts, and always ensure that you are wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment.

bigstock-Paper-and-pulp-mill--Factory--22206731Jewelry is another leading cause of injuries around moving parts of a machine. Necklaces, ear rings, rings, bracelets, can all get caught in moving parts. Remove any loose jewelry before starting work on a machine with moving parts. Long hair should be pulled back and if possible, tied up or put in a hair net.

There are several types of machines found in the workplace. Large machines, such as printing presses, metal cutting shearing machines, and numerous other types of machines, all require protective guarding to be placed over all moving parts. Small machines, such as portable grinders, sanders, drill presses, lathes, etc. all require guards to be in place as well to protect the user from injury. Listed below are some important items to always remember when working around machines with moving parts.

  • Always ensure that the machine you are operating, has all moving parts covered
  • Remove all loose jewelry
  • Pull back hair, or wear a hair net
  • Always be a competent operator, and know your machine and its capabilities
  • Inspect the machine daily, to ensure it is operating correctly, and report any defects immediately

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