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Machine Guarding is an important factor in providing a safe workplace. A risk assessment of your equipment can identify where a guard is needed and points where you can provide additional protection.
Some key factors when reviewing machine guards:
- Is the point-of-operation and moving equipment guarded?
- Do any openings in the guard comply with Table O-10?
- Do you check light curtains or interlocks for correct operation on a regular basis?
- Have you verified stopping time when using a light curtain or interlocked guard?
- Have you trained machine operators on the importance of using machine guards and the risks of not using them?
- Do your machine operators know what to do if a guard is broken or missing?
- Does the machine guard create a hazard?
- Can someone reach over, under, through, or around the guard?
Machine Guarding is addressed in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart O and contains both general and specific requirements.
When properly installing machine guards, follow the rules and don’t take shortcuts or become distracted. Are there pieces of equipment in your facility jumping to the forefront of your mind right now as safety hazards you’ve been intending to address? Don’t wait. A third-party audit can allow you to prioritize and guard against these hazards while keeping up with everything else on your to-do list.