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MACHINE SAFETY- REQUIREMENTS FOR SAFEGUARDS

Placing and keeping guards on exposed machinery is a major step in preventing lacerations and amputations of body parts. It is also a requirement of State or federal OSHA Safety and Health Standards. In general, these standards explain guarding requirements in the following terms:

Some people consider such guards a nuisance. Others consider them as a necessary evil. But how evil can they be if they help save precious fingers, hands and arms from injury or serious mutilation? In general, guards should have the following characteristics:

  1. They Should Prevent Contact: The safeguard must prevent hands, arms, or any other part of a worker's body from making contact with dangerous moving parts. A guard should not only prevent accidental contact but should prevent workers from intentionally going around or bypassing the guard.
  2. They Should Be Secure: If the guard is easily removable, this means it will be ineffective. The guards should be of durable material and most should be bolted or screwed on so that they require tools for removal.
  3. They Should Create No New Hazards: The guard itself should not create a new hazard. For example, sharp or jagged edges could cause lacerations. The guards should be affixed in a manner that eliminates sharp edges.
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  5. They Should Create No Interference: A good guard should allow the employee to work comfortably and efficiently--since otherwise it may be removed.
  6. They Should Allow Safe Maintenance: If possible, guards should be designed so as to allow minor maintenance on the machines without either removing the safeguards or being exposed to the hazard. If the guard must be removed or deactivated, then lock-out procedures should be followed before any maintenance is performed.

Don't be another OSHA statistic--an employee who lost a finger, hand or an arm. Remember to always maintain the guards on the machines and to replace them if they must be removed for maintenance.

Have You Checked All The Guards On Your Machinery and Equipment Lately?

 

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