Machine Guarding: Solving Safety & Compliance Needs in Your Facility
Safety in the manufacturing industry is essential. Each year thousands of facilities are issued citations and fines that can reach upwards of thousands of dollars for failing to adhere to strict safety guidelines put in place by regulators such as OSHA.
Manufacturing facilities around the U.S. have some of the greatest hazards present in their work environments. Here, violations for non-compliance with safety protections for worker health is high. Falling into the #9 position as one of the most cited violations for 2018 is the lack of machine guarding.
When it comes to the machinery and equipment being used in a manufacturing facility, utilizing all safety measures possible at danger points is critical. Machine guards ensure workers and their body parts are protected while using equipment or even while just navigating around the workplace.
Machine guarding acts as a shield and helps by covering dangerous areas of machines at the critical points where injury could occur.
We’ve done some in-depth posts in the past regarding types of machine guarding used around the factory and also covered some of the dangers present in these workplaces. For this post, we’ll dive deeper into how machine guarding is used at various facilities and the risks it helps to address.
Industrial Manufacturing Facilities
In industrial facilities, any area of the factory where a company performs its heaviest workloads, for example, large items with significant bulk and weight that must pass through a conveyor system, should have protections in place. Even at factories where lighter workloads are being handled, there’s always a pinch/pull hazard with some equipment. Machine guarding protects all workers should machines become re-energized if not properly turned off or while they are simply operating the machines.
Welding & Metal Fabrication Companies
In addition to the risk of lacerations, crushing or amputations from being pulled into machines or coming into contact with sharp blades and other parts, there are dangers of flying chips and sparks let off from machines in some facilities. In the welding and metal fabrication industry, this is especially true.
In this workplace, welding, cutting and brazing are all dangerous functions. There are also electrical hazards present with most of the materials they’re working with. Together with safety training and personal protective equipment, machine guards can help keep workers from touching live electrical components, being crushed, getting shocked, burned or worse.
The packaging industry is expansive and fast-paced. From conveyors to packaging equipment, pallet wrappers and more - a lot is happening, and quickly, at these facilities. With this rate of speed, there are also risks if proper precautions aren’t taken. To protect workers at these facilities, machine guarding offers a physical barrier between the machine and the workers, and in some cases offers the machine time to slow down to safe operating mode before access is granted to a worker.
It’s not just about the employees who are operating these machines. Safety measures must also be taken for those responsible for the repair, cleaning and any interaction with these machines. Machine guards keep them protected from potential hazards at all times.
Choose mk North America
In need of machine guarding solutions at your facility? mk North America has a knowledgeable engineering staff that works with companies to provide custom-tailored, modular machine guarding solutions. From manufacturing companies to machine builders and integrators, we work with you to meet your workplace safety and OSHA compliance requirements. Contact us today with questions or to learn more.