Why is Guarding Machines So Important?

Add a Note HereCrushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness — the list of possible machinery-related injuries is as long as it is horrifying. There seem to be as many hazards created by moving machine parts as there are types of machines. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from needless and preventable injuries.
Add a Note HereA good rule to remember is:
Add a Note HereAny machine part, function, or process which may cause injury must be safeguarded.
Add a Note HereWhen the operation of a machine or accidental contact with it can injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be either controlled or eliminated. In addition to techniques for protecting workers from the various hazards of mechanical motion presented in this chapter, you will find specific information related to preventing amputations — one of the most severe and disabling workplace injuries. These injuries result from using stationary machines such as saws, presses, conveyors, and bending, rolling, or shaping machines. They also occur from using powered and non-powered hand tools, forklifts, doors, trash compactors, and during materials handling activities.

Add a Note HereWhat to look for
Add a Note HereTo prevent worker injuries, both the employer and employees operating the equipment must be able to recognize the contributing factors, such as:
§  Add a Note HereMechanical components of machinery,
§  Add a Note HereMechanical motion that occurs at or near these components, and
§  Add a Note HereSpecific worker activities performed with the mechanical operation.
Add a Note HereMachine safeguarding is the primary way to control crushing and amputation hazards associated with stationary machinery. Work practices, employee training, and administrative controls also play an important role in preventing and controlling these workplace hazards.
Add a Note HereThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) designates certain non-farm jobs as particularly hazardous for employees younger than 18. Generally, this worker group is prohibited from operating:

§  Add a Note HereBand saws
§  Add a Note HereCircular saws
§  Add a Note HereGuillotine shears
§  Add a Note HerePunching and shearing machines
§  Add a Note HereMeatpacking or meat processing machines
§  Add a Note HerePower-driven paper products machines
§  Add a Note HerePower-drive woodworking machines
§  Add a Note HerePower-driven metal forming machines
§  Add a Note HerePower-driven meat slicers

Add a Note HereAre your machines safe?
Add a Note HereIf you are responsible for safeguarding machines, you need to consider guards when purchasing machinery. Most new machinery is available with safeguards installed by the manufacturer, but used equipment may not be.
Add a Note HereIn cases where machinery has no safeguards, you can purchase safeguards from the original machine manufacturer or an after-market manufacturer. You can also build and install the safeguards in-house. Safeguarding equipment should be designed and installed only by technically qualified professionals. In addition, the original equipment manufacturer should review the safeguard design to ensure that it will protect employees without interfering with the operation of the machine or creating additional hazards.
Add a Note HereRegardless of the source of safeguards, the guards and devices you use should be compatible with a machine’s operation and designed to ensure safe operator use. The selection of safeguards should be based on:
§  Add a Note HereType of operation,
§  Add a Note HereSize and shape of stock,
§  Add a Note HereMethod of feeding,
§  Add a Note HerePhysical layout of the work area, and
§  Add a Note HereProduction requirements all affect the selection of safeguards.
Add a Note HereAlso, safeguards should be designed with the machine operator in mind. To ensure effective and safe operator use, guards and devices should suit the operation. For example, if an operation is prone to jamming, installing a fixed guard may not work. An interlocked guard or presence-sensing device may be a more practical solution.

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