Machine Guarding

This manual has been prepared as an aid to employers, employees, machine manufacturers, machine guard designers and fabricators, and all others with an interest in protecting workers against the hazards of moving machine parts. It identifies the major mechanical motions and the general principles of safeguarding them. Current applications of each technique are shown in accompanying illustrations of specific operations and machines. The methods described here may be transferred, with due care, to different machines with similar hazards. To determine whether or not safeguarding meets the requirements of the standard, any mechanical motion that threatens a worker's safety should not remain unguarded.

The approaches to machine safeguarding discussed in this manual are not the only solutions which meet the requirements of the standard. Why? Because practical solutions to safeguarding moving machine parts are as numerous as the people working on them. No publication could keep pace with all of these solutions or attempt to depict them all.

In machine safeguarding, as in other regulated areas of the American workplace, to a certain extent OSHA standards govern function and practice. This text, however, is not a substitute for the standards. It is a manual of basic technical information and workable ideas which the employer may use as a guide to achieve compliance. It offers an overview of the machine safeguarding problem in the industrial setting, an assortment of solutions in popular use, and a challenge to all whose work involves machines.

Many readers of this manual already have the judgment, knowledge, and skill to develop effective answers to problems yet unsolved. Innovators are encouraged to find here stimulation to eliminate mechanical hazards facing America's workers today.

This material was adapted from original documents found at the Salt Lake City OSHA web site. No guarantee of the accuracy of this information is made or implied; for the latest regulations and information, contact OSHA (U.S. Department of Labor) directly.

Chapter 1 Machine Guarding