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Revealed: Characteristics of a good machine guard

by , 08 October 2013
You, the employer have a legal obligation to ensure your machines are properly guarded. Here are the characteristics of a good machine guard.

There are specific legal requirements for the use of machinery to prevent injuries and deaths in your workplace.

Here are the standards and procedures you MUST know and implement.

These are the characteristics of a good machine guard

According to the Health&Safety Advisor, guarding should always be well planned. You must give preference to the simplest type of guard (a fixed guard with no moving parts).

You must also enclose all hazardous areas as closely as possible to allow the maximum amount of area outside the guard for necessary operation.

Remember, too much space between the guard and the point of hazard increases the possibility of access to dangerous parts.

Your machine guard should:

  • Provide maximum protection;
  • Ensure that access to danger points is blocked during operation of the machine;
  • Not affect the efficient operation of the machine;
  • Be a permanent part of the machine without weakening the structure;
  • Not create hazards such as nip points and splinters;
  • Be designed in such a manner as to provide easy access to parts requiring adjustment or repair;
  • Be strong enough to withstand normal wear and tear;
  • Be easily repairable; and
  • Be fire and corrosion resistant.


Remember, if an accident happens because you don't have sufficient machine guarding, you could face prosecution. So make sure your machines are properly guarded.

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