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Are Your Machines Safeguarded?

Any machine part, function or process which may cause injury must be safeguarded, according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations. Additionally, where the operation of a machine can injure the operator or other workers, such as the point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks, the hazard must be controlled or eliminated.

Guarding MachinesMoving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries.

Main causes of injury resulting from not having protective guards or protective operational controls include:

  • Reaching in to remove debris or loosen a jam
  • Not using lockout/tagout
  • Unauthorized persons doing maintenance or using the machines.
  • Missing or loose machine guards.

Requirements for safeguarding equipment include:

  • Preventing contact with potential hazards.
  • Ensuring that the safeguard is secure.
  • Protection from falling objects.
  • Safely lubricating equipment.

Machine parts that pose hazards when not properly safeguarded include:

  • Auxiliary parts
  • Belts
  • Chains
  • Couplings
  • Cranks
  • Feed mechanisms
  • Flywheels
  • Gears
  • Nip points

There are several types of machine guards, including:

  • Fixed, such as coverings around power transmissions.
  • Safety controls, such as two-handed controls
  • Gates

For more information about guarding machines, refer to 29 CFR 1910 Subpart O (1910.211 to 1910.219).

Neff Rental’s maintenance program requires that earthmoving, material handling and aerial equipment, as well as tools, equipped with guards are verified to be in working order prior to renting and leaving the yard for customers’ job sites. For more information about Neff Rental, visit, or call 888-709-NEFF.

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