September 2022 - 32

column | safety insights
Workers Safe
Vince Plank, CSP
Safety Management Group
Revolution, employers and
workers have used new resources
to perform more work with less physical
effort. These resources include energy
sources, mechanical equipment, and
machine tools. This equipment has
provided more efficient methods of
production but also exposed employees to
hazardous motions and hazardous energy.
OSHA, Washington (, published
machine-guarding standards several
decades ago, but machine-guard violations
remain in the top ten most-frequently cited
standards. According to the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, workers who operate and
maintain equipment suffer approximately
18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing
injuries, and abrasions every year with more
than 800 deaths also reported.
Safeguards are required to protect workVince
Plank is a Safety Advisor
at Safety Management Group, Indianapolis,
IN, ( He is a
Certified Safety Professional with almost 20
years of safety and health experience.
ers from preventable injuries. Any machine
part, function, or process that may cause
injury must be safeguarded. When workers
are exposed to moving parts of a machine
or accidental contact, the hazards need to
be eliminated or controlled.
OSHA's general requirements for safeguarding
include, " one or more methods
of machine guarding must be provided 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 are
barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices,
electronic safety devices, etc. "
Many employers are aware of protecting
the operator from a machine's point of
operation and hazardous motions. However,
" other employees " are often exposed to
those hazards. The point of operation is the
area on a machine where work is performed.
The guarding device must be designed
and constructed to prevent the operator
from having any part of their body in the
danger zone during the operating cycle.
Point-of-operation safeguards include twohand
tripping devices and electronic
safety devices such as presence-sensing
devices. To protect " other employees, "
barrier guards and presence-sensing devices
must be installed around the machine if
there is exposure to the point of operation
or other hazardous motions.
OSHA specifically lists machinery that
typically requires point-of-operation
guarding in 1910.212(a)(3)(iv). OSHA
also has standards for specific types of
machinery such as woodworking, abrasive
wheels (pedestal/bench grinders), mills,
and calendars in the rubber and plastics
industries, mechanical power presses,
and forging machines. Another general
standard for machine guarding is for the
mechanical power-transmission apparatus.
This standard requires guarding of energy
transmission devices such as belts, pulleys,
chains, sprockets, and shafts. EP
Guards, such as the one around the
rotating end of this lathe, are a
critical safety device. Machineguard
violations continue to be one
of OSHA's top ten most-frequently
cited standards.
For the most recent guidance and best practices
on machine guarding, ANSI (American
National Standards Institute, New York) has
published the B11 standards and series for
specific machinery. Visit

September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2022

September 2022 - Cover1
September 2022 - Cover2
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