Guarding for Safety
Equipment guards are a key part of construction safety efforts. Guards help to prevent many types of accidents and injuries.
Guards are not simple. The proper guarding of even a single machine can be complicated if it has belts, gears, and a number of different tools. So it's important for you to know what you need to be safe.
The purpose of machine guarding is to keep your clothes or body from contacting any dangerous moving parts of the machine. A proper guard prevents injuries and keeps many "slip-ups" from becoming more serious.
If the guard ceases to be effective, the machine should be tagged out of service and repairs or replacement done.
The purpose of a guard is to limit access to the danger zone to ensure your safety. Sometimes this is accomplished automatically and, in other instances, your have to manually put the guard in place.
A machine guard should be easy to operate with minimum effort. The guard should be suitable for the job and the machine.
If the guard is a "built-in" guard, it should not be a hazard itself. Guards with rough edges and sharp corners are a safety hazard on their own.
If a guard is not functioning properly, have it repaired. Speak to the company about any ways to improve safety in your work area.
Signs & Protective Equipment
Always wear proper protective equipment (PPE). Face shields, helmets, gloves, and other gear will add to your protection.
Proper signage should be posted to warn you about equipment hazards. The signage should say what the hazard is and where it is located.
Occupational Health & Safety Regulations are very specific when it comes to equipment guards. For example, you must never make guards inoperative.
Keep your knowledge about hazards and equipment in your work area up-to-date. Always consult the regulations to be sure.
Many Guards - Many Hazards
Rotating Machinery - take care near in-running nip points. Body limbs or objects can be drawn in to the nip point.
Power Transmission Equipment - various guards are used for power transmission equipment such as pulleys, bevel tightener guards, elevated conveyor belts, and gear guards.
Machines with reciprocating, transverse, or rotating motions - watch out for collars, couplings, cams, clutches, spindles, lead screws, and shaft ends.
Guards will protect you from pinch points, electrical currents, thrown or flying objects/materials, and fast moving parts of machinery
Use the machine only for jobs that it is designed to do
Maintain your balance and posture to reduce fatigue and stay "steady on the job"
Use other safety devices along with the guard
Many accidents happen during routine maintenance - use correct maintenance procedures
Safe & Secure
Guards are safe as long as the people who use them monitor the equipment regularly and take the time to care for it.
Safety devices need to be repaired or replaced frequently. Add to your sense of security by keeping up with safety and maintenance duties.
All guards should be secure and in good condition. If the guard is loose or not working right, stop work immediately until the problem is corrected.
Take the initiative and play a part in protecting yourself and others from injury!