Use Machine Guards
We've all had the very frustrating experience of doing what
we thought was a favor for someone only to have it rejected
or go unappreciated. I suppose if machine guards were human,
they would experience this sort of frustration frequently.
While the basic motive for guarding is to protect,
not prohibit, guards are often looked upon by employees as
obstacles. However, guards are for your protection-regardless
of what kind they are or where they are placed.
Specifically, machine guards are used to protect
against direct contact with moving parts. There are also
guards designed to protect against flying chips, kickbacks,
and splashing of metal or harmful liquids. Mechanical and
electrical failures are also guarded against in many situations.
Guards are also provided against human failure,
which calls for special protection since human failure has
a much broader scope than guards can generally meet.
Nevertheless, guards are engineered to give as
much protection as possible even to machine operators who
deliberately take chances or who are distracted or involved
in an emotional upset while on the job.
While guards may appear to be a hindrance in some
cases, overall they have proven to be otherwise. They've
made large contributions to both security and protection.
Greater machine speed have been possible through proper guarding,
and certainly the conscientious employee works with greater
confidence, knowing that his machine offers maximum protection.
Types of Guards
Two types of guards are used to protect machine
operators, and probably most of you have been involved with
one or the other at some time. These are fixed guards and
interlocking and gate guards.
Fixed guards are most commonly used and are preferred
over others, the reason being that the fixed guards offer
protection from dangerous parts of machines at all times.
Fixed guards may be adjusted but only by authorized personnel.
Interlocking guards are used if a fixed guard
is not practical for some reason. This type will not allow
the machine to be put into operation until dangerous parts
are guarded. The interlocking guard is designed to disconnect
the source of power from the machine.
Safety devices such as pullbacks, sweeps, and
electronic devices are used when neither a fixed nor interlocking
guard can be used satisfactorily. Safety devices are operated
by the machine itself. When this type of guard is used on
a machine that is loaded and unloaded by hand, the operator
must use hand tools.
No guard can do the job for which it is intended
without the cooperation of the person operating the machine.
When a new worker hires on, the job indoctrination includes
pointing out guarding devices and explaining their importance.
It is equally important that everyone working
with or around machinery understands the generally accepted
safe procedures for his kind of work. No guard should be
adjusted or removed unless permission is given by the supervisor,
the employee concerned is specifically trained, and the adjustment
is considered a normal part of the job.
In addition, no machine should be started without
guards in place. If you see that guards are missing or defective,
report it to your supervisor immediately. When guards or
safety devices are removed for repair or adjustment, the power
for the machine should be turned off and the main switch locked
Everyone wants to work in safety. To do this,
you must have a mature respect for machinery and for safeguards.
They both will do the job for you if you let them.