Woodworking Machine Guard Guidelines

Woodworking Machine Guard GuidelinesWoodworkers, like those at Portland, OR-based The Joinery are as passionate about their work as they are about safety. A machine designed to re-form solid wood can also re-form the human body.

That’s where machine guarding comes in. When a machine has a hazard that cannot be eliminated, the appropriate course is to install guarding or other safety devices. Rotating motion machines can be particularly dangerous. Even slow-moving, smooth rotating shafts can grab clothing or skin and entangle a worker in a machine leading to death or serious injury.

“All saws, jointers and milling machines need machine guards,” said Gary Michael, of The Joinery. “We post shop safety policies on the machine guards, using brightly colored signs and labels.”

An example of a warning that communicates consequences is: WARNING - Do Not Remove Machine Guard. Loss Of Fingers May Result. Another principle is the warning communicates actions needed to avoid a hazard such as: WARNING - Lock Out Breaker 45 Before Removing Machine Guard.

An acceptable guard follows minimum general requirements similar to the minimum requirements laid out by OSHA 3067:

• Prevents contact with sharp or moving parts • It should not be easy to remove or defeat a safeguard • Provides protection from falling objects in the machine • The guard must not create its own hazard •Creates no interference • Allows for safe maintenance and adjustment.

Source: Jack Rubinger is with Graphic Products Inc./DuraLabel and John Hamilton with JH Engineer. For information visit DuraLabel.com and JHEngineer.com or call 800-788-5572 (DuraLabel).

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