Industrial machineries are very expensive. They are not your ordinary pieces of equipment that can easily be replaced once broken, damaged, or busted. Maintenance and care must always be appropriated to these industrial machines. Furthermore, safety of workers working around and with the machines must also be taken into consideration when doing machine preventive maintenance.
Machines can cause a lot of injuries when no proper safety precautions and guidelines are set in place. Injuries may include minor burns, cuts, abrasions or even severe injuries such as loss of lives, limbs, permanent blindness, amputation, etc. This is the reason why safety guarding must always be put in place to minimize the risks of injuries or dangers in the industry.
According to the US Safety Standards and Occupational Safety Health Act, the following guidelines must be observed in machine guarding to ensure that most, if not all, aspects of hazards are minimize in the workplace:
Prevent contact – machine guards must provide a physical barrier from the operator to the other parts of the machines that are deemed dangerous or may cause danger to the operator of the machine. These guards must be durable enough to withstand easy pressure and breakage.
Tamper-proof and secured – machine guards must be tamper-proof or secured into a position so that no worker can remove or move the guards whenever they like moving them; only assigned maintenance personnel can do so.
No new hazards – a safety guard must create no new hazard. It defeats the purpose of a installing safety guard when it create new hazards for the workers and operators. This means that sharp, jagged, uneven edges of the guard must be properly welded, rolled, or taken cared of to prevent lacerations, cuts, and other injuries.
Easy lubrication – as much as possible, it is recommended to lubricate the guards without removing them, or changing their positions. There must be an easy location of the oil tubing or line leading to the lubrication point so that maintenance personnel do not have to go to the danger zone to lubricate the machine guards.
No interference – machine guards must not interfere with the machines’ operations. It is not cost-efficient and it is tedious if the operators’ of the machine must maneuver the machine to consider the position of the machine guards. Machine guards must never hamper nor disturb the operation of the machine themselves.
The US Safety Standards and Occupational Safety and Health Act are created to ensure that machine guards are created make work efficient while improving the safety and minimizing the dangers in the workplace. This also ensures that all industries must follow guidelines of safety guarding before starting any operations to prevent any untoward incidents or injuries in the workplace. Workers’ safety always comes first before any means of machine efficiency and operability.