Ohio OSHA Law Blog

by Meyers Roman Friedberg & Lewis

OSHA’s Top 10 Hit List: No. 9 — Machine Guarding

This week, we continue our countdown of OSHA’s top 10 cited standards for 2015 with number 9, Machine Guarding.

Unlike the detailed general electrical standard, the machine guarding standard is short and succinct.

1. Machines must be guarded where there operation could expose employees to injury.An employer must provide at least one method of machine guarding to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods include barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, and electronic safety devices.

2. Special attention must be paid to point-of-operation guarding.

  • Point of operation is the area on a machine where work is actually performed upon the material being processed.
  • The point of operation of machines whose operation exposes an employee to injury, must be guarded.
  • The guarding device must meet any appropriate standards, or, in the absence of applicable specific standards, be designed and constructed so as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
  • An employer must provide special handtools to allow for the placement and removal of material without the operator placing a hand in the danger zone. Such tools supplement the required guarding, and cannot be provided in lieu of such guarding.

3. The types of machines that typically require point-of-operation guarding include:

  • Guillotine cutters
  • Shears
  • Alligator shears
  • Power presses
  • Milling machines
  • Power saws
  • Joiners
  • Portable power tools
  • Forming rolls and calenders
  • Barrels, containers, and drums

4. The guarding enclosure on revolving barrels, containers, and drums must be interlocked with the drive mechanism, to ensure that nothing revolves while the guard is not in place.

5. The outside edge of a fan blade operating less than seven feet above the floor working level must be guarded, with an opening no bigger than one half-inch.

6. Machines that are designed to be in a fixed location must be securely anchored, to prevent them from moving while in operation.

Next week, No. 8 — Electrical, Wiring Methods.


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