Guard Construction | Machine Guarding
Many builders of single-purpose machines provide point-of-operation and power transmission safeguards as standard equipment. However, not all machines in use have built-in safeguards provided by the manufacturer.
Guards designed and installed by the builder offer two main advantages:
§ They usually conform to the design and function of the machine.
§ They can be designed to strengthen the machine in some way or to serve some additional functional purposes.
User-built guards are sometimes necessary for a variety of reasons. They have these advantages:
§ They may be the only choice for mechanical power transmission apparatus in older plants, where machinery is not powered by individual motor drives.
§ They permit options for point-of-operation safeguards when skilled personnel design and make them.
§ They can be designed and built to fit unique and even changing situations.
§ They can be installed on individual dies and feeding mechanisms.
§ Design and installation of machine safeguards by plant personnel can help to promote safety consciousness in the workplace.
§ User-built guards may not conform well to the configuration and function of the machine.
§ There is a risk that user-built guards may be poorly designed or built.
Under many circumstances, metal is the best material for guards. Guard framework is usually made from structural shapes, pipe, bar, or rod stock. Filler material generally is expanded or perforated or solid sheet metal or wire mesh. It may be feasible to use plastic or safety glass where visibility is required.
Guards made of wood generally are not recommended because of their flammability and lack of durability and strength. However, in areas where corrosive materials are present, wooden guards may be the better choice.
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