Machine Guarding laws & safety compliance analysis

Machine Guarding: What you need to know


Many industries rely on machinery to do much of the work necessary to manufacture or manipulate a product. Because most machinery is capable of changing the shape or size of a material, it is also capable of doing the same to parts of the human body. According to OSHA, any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with it can injure the operator or others in the vicinity, one or more methods of machine guarding must be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, and flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, and electronic safety devices.

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OSHA rules. OSHA machine guarding rules for general industry (29 CFR 1910, Subpart O) address the safety requirements for the following types of machines:

  • 29 CFR 1910.211—Definitions
  • 29 CFR 1910.212—General requirements for all machines
  • 29 CFR 1910.213—Woodworking machinery requirement
  • 29 CFR 1910.215—Abrasive wheel machinery
  • 29 CFR 1910.216—Mills and calenders in the rubber and plastics industries
  • 29 CFR 1910.217—Mechanical power presses
  • 29 CFR 1910.218—Forging machines
  • 29 CFR 1910.219—Mechanical power-transmission apparatus

OSHA has also adopted guarding rules for other types of machines and equipment, including:

  • 29 CFR 1910.243—Guarding of portable power tools
  • 29 CFR 1910.244—Other portable tools and equipment
  • 29 CFR 1910.133—Eye and face protection
  • 29 CFR 1910.147—Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)

See the Eye and Face Protection and Lockout/Tagout analysis sections for more information about personal protective ...

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