Machine Guarding

Machine guarding isn’t confined to machine presses and rollers. Within our own facilities, we have equipment that must be guarded. Some examples of equipment that should be guarded include: exhaust fans, safety stops for blasting machine doors, belt drives and grinding equipment.

Guards must:

  • Protect against contact.
  • Be secured to the machine.
  • Ensure that no object can fall into the moving parts.
  • Guards should not create additional hazards or interfere with machine performance.

In addition to mechanical guarding, grounding electrical equipment is one of the most important safety measures. Grounding should be applied to the entire system and each individual piece of electrical equipment.


Department Managers and Supervisors must:

  • Ensure operators do not remove or operate machine without machine safeguards.
  • Ensure operators implement all safety program requirements.
  • Provide machine/process specific hands-on training to all operators.

Every employee who operates machinery must:

  • Be trained on and apply the use of machine safeguards.
  • Inspect the machines and safeguards prior to each use.
  • Always use safeguards as required.
  • Alert Owner or Department Management when machines and/or safeguards need repair/replacement.
  • Assess work to determine if machine safeguards cannot be used and work with the supervisor to provide Administrative controls for safety.
  • Spring is a great time to check your machine guards and equipment grounding!

Training Reminder

The GAWDA Safety committee has published a Sample Safety Practice for Cylinder Loading Dock Safety which contains loading dock inspection and operational safety measures. This document may be used as a safety training and can be located on the GAWDA website/Members only page/Sample Safety Practice/Cylinder Loading Dock Safety.

If you have any questions on the subjects presented here or other questions related to DHS, EPA or OSHA, please contact me.   

This article is an excerpt from the GAWDA Safety Organizer, a monthly bulletin sent to GAWDA members. For more information on the GAWDA Safety Organizer, or to read past issues, visit the Members-Only Section



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