GuardSmart 135 – Top 5 Machine Guarding Problems


Top 5 Machine Guarding Problems

Every year more than 18,000 workers in the United States and 2,500 workers in Canada, operating or maintaining industrial machinery, suffer amputations, crushed fingers and other traumatic injuries as a result of machine-related incidents. While these injuries vary greatly, the majority of cases do have one thing in common: it was possible to prevent the injury if machine safeguarding had been in place. Unfortunately, though, many employers either do not install machine guarding on their equipment or they simply do not do it correctly. According to Liftsafe, there are five serious machine guarding problems that you may encounter.

  1. Lack of understanding of Machine Guarding Requirements

Many employers do not fully understand what exactly is required in order to ensure a machine is safely guarded to meet OSHA / MSHA / OHSA / CSA requirements.

  1. Improper Design or Installation

Inexperienced designers and installers may make mistakes when installing or maintaining your machine guarding equipment. That is why it is important to pick a guarding company that has experience in hazard assessments and onsite evaluations.

  1. Failure to Consider All Risks

A comprehensive machine guarding process should consider all inputs, not just ones from the guard designer. It, also, should be considered from the machine operators, maintenance personnel, supervisors, engineers, safety professionals, and the machine guarding experts.

  1. Inadequate Controls to Ensure Guards are Adjusted & Maintained

In the beginning, you may have well-designed guards and devices in place and they may be properly adjusted for your machine. However, they might not have regular inspections and maintenance. In this case, the machine guard can eventually fail and when that happens can become a hazard in itself.

  1. Belief that Manufacturer is Responsible for Machine Guarding

The original equipment manufacturer has many safety responsibilities! However, you cannot assume that they have installed an appropriate machine guard for your company. In addition, it is not necessarily that guarding will meet all safety standards that are currently in place. It is up to you to ensure that all machines under your care are properly guarded and maintained in order to ensure that no accidents will occur.Safety Sign -Machine Guarding Problems

Your Stories:

A worker was trying to remove a tamper evidence sticker that had adhered to an inside wall of the elevator housing for a conveyor line. The conveyor line is used to move packages of product; a ram pushes the packages into a cardboard shipping box. The elevator housing was unguarded from the top and the worker’s arm and hand became trapped between the ram on a return stroke and the pack-plate of the elevator housing. The worker suffered a broken arm. The employer pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that equipment was guarded as required by the Ontario Regulation 851/90 (Industrial Regulation) Section 25 Occupational Health and Safety Act Section 25(1)(c).

Helpful Links & References

Oct 2013 | Ontario Newsroom | Fined $115,000 After Worker Injured |

Occupational Health and Safety Act | R.R.O. 1990, Regulations 851 |

Feb 2016 | Liftsafe Group of Companies | 5 Potentially Fatal Machine Guarding Problems |

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