Any machine part that can cause injury must be safeguarded, machines can cause
a variety of injuries from burns or cuts to severe injuries such as crushing,
fractures, lacerations or even amputation. So, these machine guards are your first
line of defence against some of these injuries.
Hazards to be guarded:
• Point of operation – the area where the machine bends, shapes, cuts or bores the stock being
fed through it.
• Hazardous motions – this includes rotating machine parts, reciprocating motions which is
sliding parts or up and down motions. Transverse motions which is materials moving in a
• Shear points and pinch points – the area where a part of your clothing or body part could be
caught between a moving part and a stationary object. This would include power
transmissions apparatuses such as belts, chains, spindles, gears and other machine
components that transmit energy.
Four types of machine guards –
• Fixed guards – they are the most common because of their effectiveness, they are normally
attached permanently to equipment. They usually cover power transmissions units.
• Interlocked guards – these are designed to be opened or removed to allow access to the
hazard zone. But once the guard is open the machine shuts down automatically.
• Adjustable guards – these guards must be adjusted manually, it will be able to handle a wide
variety of material sizes while still protecting the unused portion of the point of operation.
• Self-adjust guards – these are normally found on saws; the guards are pushed away from the
point of operation when the material is fed through but will only allow to open wide enough
for the material into the cutting zone.
But guards alone will not keep you safe unless you use these machines properly and using your
knowledge and experience about machine safety every day to be safe from tragic injuries.