Machine guarding is an imporant layer in worker safety
Machine guarding is a crucial aspect of workplace safety, as it helps protect employees from accidents and injuries that can be caused by the operation of machinery. The purpose of machine guarding is to safeguard people from the moving parts of machinery, as well as from any flying debris or objects that may be ejected from the machine during operation. It is also important for machine guarding to protect machinery itself from damage or malfunction caused by contact with people or objects.
There are several types of machine guards, including fixed guards, interlocking guards, and adjustable guards. Fixed guards are permanent and cannot be easily removed, while interlocking guards use a physical barrier that prevents the machine from operating when the guard is open. Adjustable guards can be moved or adjusted to accommodate different tasks or parts of the machine.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific regulations in place for machine guarding to ensure the safety of workers in the United States. These regulations require employers to evaluate their workplace and determine the necessary guards for each machine, as well as to provide training for employees on the proper use of the guards and the machinery.
There are several benefits to implementing effective machine guarding in the workplace. One of the most obvious is the prevention of injuries and accidents. According to OSHA, approximately 18,000 serious injuries and 450 deaths occur each year as a result of contact with machinery. In addition to the human cost, these incidents also result in lost time and productivity, as well as increased insurance and workers’ compensation costs.
Effective machine guarding also helps protect the machinery itself. By preventing contact with people or objects, guards can help extend the lifespan of the machine and reduce the need for costly repairs. This can result in significant cost savings for the company.
In summary, machine guarding is an essential aspect of workplace safety. It helps protect employees from accidents and injuries caused by the operation of machinery, as well as protecting the machinery itself from damage. By implementing effective machine guarding and following OSHA regulations, companies can improve safety, reduce costs, and increase productivity.