Machine Safeguards: Keeping Workers Secure

Worker wearing protective clothing in a factoryMany accidents have happened in the workplace that involve huge machinery for operation. The government has ordered the presence of machine safeguarding tools to prevent such unfortunate events from happening.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that any machine part, function, or process that can cause potential injury to a worker must have safeguards in place. This means drilling tapping machines, plasma cutters, and routers, among others, are subject to have the right safeguarding tools.

Purpose of machine safeguards

The purposes of machine safeguards are to prevent contact between any part of the worker’s body and the moving parts of the machine. It should also be tamper proof. A safeguard that can easily be tampered or disarmed is no safeguard at all.

Protection from falling object is also one of the main functions of a safeguard. The moving parts of the machine should be protected from falling objects lest it becomes a trajectory. Aside from protection, safeguards are also present to ensure that no new hazards would be present in the vicinity of the machine or work area. However, this does not mean it should interfere with the worker’s performance in conducting the job properly. To properly fill these functions, different types of safeguards for different occasions and machines can be used.

Types of machine safeguards

The three main types of machine safeguards are fixed, adjustable, and self-adjusting. Fixed safeguards provide protection and function as a part of the machine.

Adjustable ones provide a barrier that a worker can adjust depending on the requirements of the operation.

Self-adjusting safeguards protect the worker according to the movement of the machine as well as the things that enter the point of operation.

There are different types of safeguard designed for different functions and needs. Therefore, there is no excuse why your machines do not have one. Always put safety as a priority. Use machine safeguards and make your workplace a secure and productive one.