Machine Guarding

On OSHA’s Radar
Machine guarding is the ninth most cited infraction from OSHA in the year 2015. Machine guards are put in place to defend an employee against machine operation hazards. To modify or to remove a guard is a hazardous work condition, and is unacceptable. According to OSHA this is also the reason for over 18,000 amputations, lacerations, and abrasions, as well as over 800 deaths. Often times people do not report or record these accidents as OSHA requires, so these numbers may be lower than how many people were actually injured by incorrect machine

How Should I Work With Machine Guards?
Never under any circumstance remove a guard when using a machine.
Always report missing or damaged guards. If a guard is damaged while working make sure to shut down the machine and have a qualified person inspect it. That guard may need to be replaced before you are able to perform work safely. The original guard from the manufacturer must be left on the machine and not altered in anyway. Hazards associated with guard removal or modification:

  • Will expose an open blade that could injure a person.
  • In the event that a grinding wheel fails, or a cutting device fails, it could projectile towards the operator.
  • Possible amputation may occur.
  • It is an OSHA violation.
  • Puts the operator, as well as people working nearby that person, at risk.

Can anyone contribute a time that machine guarding was involved in your work? Can anyone recall a near miss or accident that could’ve been prevented?

Machine Guarding Picture







Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not super cede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations