Are you confident in your knowledge of Machine Safeguarding?

Learn about the hazards & control measures to prevent work equipment and machinery accidents.

“Machine safeguarding is the process of implementing safeguards to protect workers from injury while operating machinery.” Sounds simple enough, right? But did you know that according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), machine safeguarding violations are consistently one of the top 10 most frequently cited violations?

That's right; even with regulations in place, many workplaces are still failing to safeguard their machines adequately. This puts workers at risk of severe injury or even death. In fact, OSHA reports that 18,000 amputations occur in the workplace each year. That's 18,000 people whose lives are forever changed by a preventable accident.

Moreover, the most costly lost-time workers' compensation claims by nature of the injury are for those resulting from amputation. These injuries averaged $118,000 per workers' compensation claim filed in 2019 and 2020. And that's just the beginning. Lost wages, medical bills, and other associated costs can quickly add up. 

So what are the steps to avoid such incidents, and what do adequate measures for machine safeguarding entail? Can you answer a few questions to evaluate your understanding?

  1. What are the main types of machine guards and safeguarding devices, and how do they protect workers from machinery hazards?
  2. What is the difference between an interlock and a presence-sensing device, and when would you use each one?
  3. What are some of the key considerations when selecting interlocking systems for machine guards?
  4. Can you describe the different types of interlocks used for machine guarding and when each one would be appropriate?
  5. What are some of the common causes of interlocking guard failure, and how can these failures be prevented?
  6. Can you explain how light curtains work and how they can be used for machine safeguarding?
  7. What are some of the key considerations when selecting and designing machine guarding for robotic systems?
  8. What role do risk assessments play in determining the need for machine guards and safeguarding devices?
  9. Can you describe the function and operation of pressure-sensitive safety edges and where they might be used?
  10. How do you calculate the minimum safe distance between a safeguarding device and a hazard zone, and what factors can affect that distance?
  11. Can you describe how an emergency stop system works and what factors should be considered when designing one for a specific piece of machinery?
  12. Can you explain the concept of a fail-safe design and why it is essential for machine guarding and safeguarding devices?
  13. Can you explain how a pressure-sensitive safety mat works and how it can be used for machine safeguarding?
  14. Can you explain how an area scanning device works and how it can be used for machine safeguarding?
  15. How do you choose the appropriate type of machine guard or safeguarding device for a specific piece of machinery?
  16. How can machine guarding and safeguarding devices be used to protect workers from hazards related to conveyor systems?
  17. Can you explain the concept of risk reduction for machine safeguarding and how it can be achieved through the use of safeguarding devices?
  18. Can you describe which type of interlocking guard is suitable for safeguarding against hot surfaces in machinery?

By now, you likely understand that machine safeguarding is not simply about installing physical barriers or guards around machinery. Instead, it involves taking a comprehensive approach that encompasses staying current with the latest safety standards and technology, as well as selecting the most appropriate type of machinery safeguards.

You can find the answers to the above questions in this free machine safeguarding course

Whether you're a worker, supervisor, or health and safety professional, this course is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to gain knowledge of machine safeguarding and the best methods for controlling machinery hazards. 

Upon completion, not only will you have a deep understanding of machine-safeguarding principles, but you'll also be able to add an internationally recognized accreditation to your resume. This will demonstrate your commitment to workplace safety and your proficiency in machine safeguarding, positioning you as a valuable asset to any organization. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your professional skills. Sign up for this course today.

HSE Windsock

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