As you probably know, OSHA publishes a list list of the ten most commonly cited standard violations every year. And every year, 1910.212 (Machine Guarding) is on the list.
As a result, we’ve pulled together some machine guarding resources to help you use machine guarding more properly, to comply with OSHA machine guarding rules, and to avoid those nasty OSHA fines. And don’t forget to download our free OSHA General Industry Machine Guarding Checklist, too.
Let us know if you’ve got some other resources you’d suggest. The comments field awaits.
In this section, we provide a lot of “basics” about machine guarding, machine guarding hazards, and machine guarding for hazard control. This information is drawn from an OSHA publication on machine guarding.
Where Should Machines Be Guarded? What’s Hazardous?
Dangerous moving parts that need to be guarded tend to be located in three areas. These are:
The point of operation–where the “action” of the machine happens, such as where a press cuts metal
The power transmission apparatus–where the machine transmits energy to motion (motors, etc.)
Other moving parts–everything else that moves
Inspect these three areas for safety hazards on a machine.
What Are the Different Types of Motions and Actions?
Watch for these potentially dangerous motions:
Rotating-movement in a circle
Reciprocating-back and forth movement
Transversing-movement in a straight line
Watch for these potentially dangerous actions:
Cutting-by rotating, reciprocating, or transverse motion
Punching-when power is applied to one side, such as in stamping
Shearing-powering a saw or knife to trim a side
Bending-when power is applied to draw or stamp metal
What Are Some Non-Mechanical Hazards to Look for?
Power sources (frayed wires, etc.)
Hazardous fluids and other hazardous substances
What Are Some Types of Machine Safeguards?
OSHA provides a nice list, which we’ve included here for you.
Guards, including fixed, interlocked, adjustable, and self-adjusting
Devices, including presence-sensing, pullback, restraint, safety controls, and gates
Feeding and ejection methods, including automatic feed, semi-automatic feed, automatic ejection, semi-automatic ejection, and the use of robots
Additional aids, including awareness barriers, miscellaneous protective shields, and hand-feeling tools and holding fixtures.
OSHA’s also got some nice drawings of these. Check ’em out here.
What Must Your Machine Guarding Safeguard Do?
Your machine guarding safeguard should:
Keep workers from contacting moving parts
Be secure so it’s not easily removed
Provide protection so falling parts can’t fall into moving parts
Create no new hazards that weren’t there before
Create no interference with the worker
Allow for easy lubrication of moving part
What Training Should Workers Receive?
Be sure workers receive proper safety training, including:
A description of all hazards associated with any machine they work with
An explanation of the safeguards, an explanation of the hazards they are intended to guard, and an explanation of how they work
How and why to use the safeguards
How and when safeguards can be removed, and who can remove them (in most cases, this is just qualified maintenance and repair people follow specific safe work practices)
What to do if they discovered a safeguard is ineffective, damaged, or missing
What is the Hierarchy of Controls?
The hierarchy of controls is a method to use when trying to create a solution for a workplace hazard. The idea is you should try one type of control before trying another. In order, the types of controls you should try are:
Engineering controls (machine guarding is an example of an engineering control)
Work practice controls
For more, check out the HoC article and free JHA guide, below.
What About Isolation of Energy and Lockout/Tagout When Guards Are Removed for Maintenance?
Guards can be removed for maintenance and repair, but only by specially trained maintenance personnel. In those cases, energy sources should be isolated and the machine should be locked and tagged out. Read more about maintenance, repair, isolation of energy, and lockout/tagout at OSHA’s website here, or check out our courses Lockout/Tagout for the Affected Employees and Lockout/Tagout for Authorized Employees.
We’ve included course samples of those two online lockout tagout training courses below, plus here’s an entire blog devoted to the issue of online lockout tagout training.
Lockout Tagout for Affected Employees
Lockout Tagout for Authorized Employees
Does OSHA have a Safety & Health Topic webpage for machine hazards and machine guarding regulations?
What about Industry Consensus Standards for Machine Design and Safeguarding?
OSHA offers a nice list of them here, and provides some helpful thoughts about incorporating both industry consensus standards and OSHA regulations.
Machine Guarding Information
Hope that helped point you in the right direction on machine guarding. Don’t forget to check out our online machine guarding training course. And there’s a free guide to help you with OSHA General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance, too.
Free OSHA 1910/General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance Checklist Download
Download this free checklist to help your compliance efforts with OSHA’s general industry machine guarding regulations.