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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
APR 30, 2020
On Guard: Important Information About Machine Guarding
Machine guarding is one of the most important components of an effective risk management strategy for manufacturers. The machine guarding process protects machine parts that are the most dangerous and likely to cause injury. It can prevent amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries and abrasions. Keep reading to learn more machine guarding basics, so you can keep your workforce safe.
Where do mechanical hazards occur?
There are three basic areas that include moving parts, which require safeguarding. They include:
The point of operation
Power transmission apparatus
Other moving parts
Another easy way to identify parts that need to be safeguarded is through hazardous mechanical motions and actions. Parts that perform the following actions should be safeguarded:
Requirements for safeguards
Safeguards should eliminate exposure to risk by creating a barrier between the operator and the machine. They should always prevent contact between the operator and the machine, and should be secure enough that nudging or bumping them will not dislodge the safeguards.
Look up! Safeguards should also protect against falling objects.
Finally, ensure that no new hazards are created by the safeguards. For instance, the operator should not have to take an unsafe path through the manufacturing facility because they are blocked by a safeguard. This also means that safeguards should create no interference with the supply chain.
The materials used for safeguards should still allow for safe lubrication of the machinery.
Training workers on safeguards
Thorough operator training should always involve hands-on training in the following areas:
Identification of hazards
How the safeguards provide protection against hazards
How to use each safeguard
How, and under what circumstances, safeguards can be removed
What to do if a safeguard is damaged
By following these simple guidelines, you can enhance the safety of machine operators at your facility.