Feel free to talk to us! Phone Number: 973-366-4660

Machine Guarding Assessments and Training

Machine Guarding Assessments and Training

Are you committed to improving your workers’ safety in 2023 and beyond? You are not alone.

One vital way to implement a safe work environment is to start with the machinery workers use. Machinery has many moving parts that can cause severe injury to employees if the necessary safeguard is not in place. Workers can be subjected to burns, crushed appendages, amputations, and even blindness.

So, now you ask yourself; What are machine guarding assessments and training? Does OSHA require training for machine guarding? If so, what are the OSHA machine guarding requirements?

First, let us begin with, “What is machine guarding?”

What Is Machine Guarding?

Machine guarding is a safety process to protect machine operators and others in the workplace from hazards created during machine operation. A few dangers are rotating parts (including ingoing nip points), moving, reciprocating, and flying sparks and chips.

The three areas where machines are most likely to cause injury are:

  1. The Point of Operation

The point where the cutting, boring, shaping and forming of materials is performed.

  1. Power Transmission Apparatus

The location where the mechanical system transmits energy to the machine, such as pulleys, belts, flywheels, couplings, cams, connecting rods, chains, spindles, gears, and cranks.

  1. Other Moving Parts

Any other moving parts, such as reciprocating, rotating and transverse parts, auxiliary components, and feed mechanisms.

Does OSHA Require Training for Machine Guarding?

OSHA doesn’t specify training requirements under their regulations for machine guarding. However, they have a General Duty Clause, which requires employers to provide safe work environments. Personnel without the proper training may be in a dangerous work environment.

The Five Approaches to Machine Guarding


Guards are physical barriers that enclose hazardous machine parts, preventing personnel from encountering them.

Safeguarding Devices

These devices are attachments or controls that prevent inadvertent access by personnel to hazardous machine areas. Examples include presence sensing, restraint, pullback, safety controls, and gates.

Secondary Safeguarding Methods

These methods are used when guards or safeguarding devices cannot be installed due to infeasibility. These methods include detection safeguarding devices, awareness devices, safeguarding, and safe work procedures.

Distance and Location

The dangerous moving machine part must not be accessible and present a hazard to personnel during machine operation.

Awareness Warnings, Barriers

Awareness barriers do not provide the operator with physical protection. They serve as a reminder that they are nearing the danger area.

Machine Guarding Training

  1. Learn how to use various physical barrier machine guard types: self-adjusting, adjustable, interlocking, and fixed. These are designed to keep personnel from encountering the machines moving parts.
  2. You will be introduced to various machine-guarding devices such as gates, safety controls, restraints, pullbacks, and presence sensing. These devices may prevent or limit access to hazardous machine areas.
  3. Knowing where to locate is critical, as hazards can be eliminated or minimized by changing the position of a machine.
  4. Learn about ejection and automated feeding methods vital for eliminating hazardous exposure.
  5. Know the various aids, including awareness barriers, holding devices, feeding tools, and shields.

Benefits of Machine Guarding Training

Machine guarding training ensures machine operators understand what the machines do and how the operating controls impact their work.

In addition, as part of the health and safety training, personnel will learn about maintenance and repairs.

Fully understanding the machinery type and its moving parts ensures the equipment’s optimum efficiency and safety for the personnel operating it.

OSHA Machine Guarding Requirements

As mentioned earlier, OSHA doesn’t specify machine guarding training requirements. However, according to best practices, every guard must meet specific criteria.

  • Prevent operator contact.
  • Guards must be steady and secure and made of solid materials.
  • Protect against other falling objects into the existing machinery.
  • Inability to create new hazards such as shear points, unfinished and jagged edges. Guard edges should be bolted and rolled to prevent sharp edges.
  • Guards must not create interference, for example, impeding operators from doing their job efficiently and comfortably.
  • Allow for safe lubrication. Find oil reservoirs located outside your guards. Lines should lead to their lubrication points. Maintenance workers and operators won’t have to contact the machines’ hazardous areas this way.

What Is Expected of Machine Operators?

Following machine guarding training, all personnel operators of machinery should know.

  • The different guard types, primary and secondary, and which are best for specific machinery operations.
  • How to prevent near-misses and accidents.
  • What to do if the machine safeguard is damaged and reporting of inoperative guards.
  • Understand when the company’s tagout/lockout program should be used. Per OSHA guidelines, lockout devices prevent employees from using unsafe equipment. Meanwhile, tagout devices inform workers they should not operate dangerous machines.

How We Can Help with Machine Guarding Assessments and Training

Machine-guarding assessments & training are critical for ensuring your workers’ safety. Atlantic Environmental offers companies machine-guarding assessments with top-tier safeguarding training. We work with all types of commercial, industrial and warehouse properties, both large and small.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our training services. Partner with us today!

We provide machine guarding assessments and training to NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, CT, and MA (the Boston area).


This entry was posted in SAFETY/LOSS CONTROL ARTICLES AND FACTS. Bookmark the permalink.