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Machine Guarding Best Practices for Your Business

06/05/2017

Machine Guarding Best Practices for Your Business

The complex manufacturing and engineering equipment that workers use, coupled with the environment in which they work, pose a number of hazards. Such hazards are known to have affected the health of employees and even led to fatalities in some cases. The effects of the hazards in the workplace have drawn attention to the need to create a safe working environment. Machine guarding is a way to help keep workers safer while on the job. However, maintaining both the machine and the guarding mechanisms will require special attention that will be well worth it.

What is Machine Guarding?

Machine guarding is a technique that uses machine guards to enhance the safety of any person who is exposed to potential danger from various types of machinery. Machine guards are protective devices that are used to cover the moving parts of machinery that pose a danger to workers. There is no doubt that machines help us to accomplish tasks that we would otherwise not be able to achieve. However, machinery is also associated with a number of serious workplace injuries.

Machine guarding goes a long way in ensuring worker’s safety. There are three main moving parts for machine guarding. The point at which work is performed on the material, commonly known as the point of operation, is one of the parts that require safeguarding. This is where materials are cut, shaped or stock is formed.

Safeguarding is also necessary over all the components that transmit energy to the specific part that performs the work. These are known as the power transmission apparatus. The third point where machine guarding is required are the other parts of the machine that are in constant movement when the machine is working.

Machine guards also protect workers from flying debris that could cause injuries. The protective devices also protect against fractures, abrasions, amputations, crushing injuries, lacerations, burns, eye-injuries, and lots more.

Tips for utilizing the safety measure

Even as businesses and employees strive to ensure safety through machine guarding, other measures can be employed alongside simply having a machine guard in place. Here are some ways to manage safety measures and ensure the machines and machine guards are functioning properly.

Having proper machine guarding on the machines

All the different types of machine guards are designed to protect workers from the dangers of rotating parts, sparks, and flying chips. It is important to have the right machine guards on all heavy machinery to prevent potential safety dangers.

Avoid interfering with moving and operating machinery

Whenever heavy machinery is operating, no one should interfere with the machinery or the person operating it. Failure to focus when operating heavy machinery may have disastrous effects.

Wearing the required personal protective equipment (PPE)

In order to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities, all workers should wear the required safety gear. For instance, goggles are meant to protect the eyes from sparks and flying objects that could lead to blindness.

Keep off loading zones when machines are unloading

The nature of machines is that they are sometimes unpredictable. Whenever machines are unloading, workers should stay away to avoid any malfunctions that could result in heavy objects dropping and causing injuries.

Employees shouldn’t operate machinery they are not trained to use

Operating heavy and powerful machinery safely requires sufficient training. If a worker does this without the requisite training, they will put themselves and other people at serious risk of injuries and fatalities.

Benefits of training employees on how to properly use machine guards

There are numerous benefits for a company, if they train employees on how to use machine guards.

  • The company will be able to reduce the possibility of serious injuries and fatalities caused by machinery.
  • Training will also go a long way in ensuring compliance with the various laws and regulations that govern the industry.
  • There will also be reduced downtime. By enhancing the safety of machines, the number of incidents will be reduced and there will be a boost in productivity.
  • When employees do their work in a safe environment, they will know that the facility values them.

The importance of machine guarding in various manufacturing plants cannot be denied. In fact, it is not surprising that more businesses are increasingly using the protective devices and training their employees in machine guarding. If you wish to learn more and enroll your employees for mechanical maintenance seminars, connect with NTT Training today.

Machine Guarding Best Practices for Your Business

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