Machine guarding is one of the most important safety concepts in any manufacturing or industrial facility. For many industrial and assembly workplaces there are particular dangerous machines that could seriously injure, maim, or kill a person. As safety is a top priority at RBT Automate, we thought we would break down Machine Guarding and list 4 reasons why it is important.
What is Machine Guarding?
Machine guarding, strictly speaking, is a physical barrier between the manufacturing floor and a moving machine. It is designed to prevent workers from coming into contact with hazardous moving parts. In addition, it can keep other people who are also working in the area safe from flying sparks or other debris.
There are many different types of machine guarding. Depending on the work performed in your plant you may encounter any of the following:
- Fixed guards – designed as a permanent part of the device, these guards are sturdy and should not be removed or manipulated
- Interlocked guards – when used these guards will disable or pause machine operations whenever they are raised, opened, or removed
- Adjustable guards – when a device needs protection but also needs to be adaptable to certain heights or angles, this type of guard is utilized and can be manually changed depending on the worker or the type of use
- Self-adjusting guards – automatically adjusting guards are helpful for machines where operations require movement, such as trimming certain types of wood for furniture
- Barrier guarding – which typically comes in the form of wire mesh fencing and can be adapted to suit the different specifications of the machines they guard.
What are the benefits of Machine Guarding?
The most important benefit of using machine guarding is safety. Above all else, employers want their workers to be responsible and safe. Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Machine safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries.
2.) Improved Morale and Confidence
Machine guarding can help improve overall productivity. Plant workers should always be fully trained in the importance of machine guarding as well as the proper use of guards. A benefit to workplace safety is workers who feel comfortable with their machinery will be more productive and contribute more to the business. With fewer injuries, your business will also be able to meet quotas and continue to be profitable.
If a machine is used for painting, welding, cutting materials, or anything else, machine guarding often helps to contain sparks, sawdust, paint, or other materials from flying around the workspace. In addition to protecting others from this hazard, it helps to keep flying debris contained in a smaller area, making it easier to clean. This also helps to eliminate the wasted effort of cleaning a much larger
4.) Allows for Additional Access to Surrounding Areas
Depending on the type, machine guarding can also be used to reduce a hazard area. This can open up additional useable areas around the machine and eliminate wasted space.
All machinery in Canada must be approved for such use through the CSA. The CSA registered mark shows that a product has been independently tested and certified to meet recognized standards for safety or performance. At RBT, we have extensive knowledge and experience in inspecting and modifying machinery and working with inspection agencies. We also provide comprehensive and integrated safety solutions to protect your employees, your machines, and your facility.
Contact us for a consultation for machine guarding! RBT designs, manufactures, retrofits, and installs the necessary solutions and technologies to ensure your manufacturing and processing systems are safe and efficient.