a man overseeing an industrial workplace

Why Safety Guards Are So Important

Heavy machinery has the potential to cause serious injuries including crushes limbs, amputations, burns, blindness, and more. Safety guards can help prevent such devastating incidents.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.

OSHA’s Machine Guarding Standards

OSHA has several different safety standards for machine guarding, depending on the industry. This chart provides information for the agency’s standards for the general industry, maritime, construction, and agriculture industries.

In general, OSHA requires workplaces to follow these machine guarding standards:

  • One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other workers in the machine area, including those created by point of operation, rotating parts, sparks, and more.
  • Machine guards shall be affixed to the machine where possible and secured elsewhere if attachment to the actual machine is not possible.
  • Machine guards shall conform with applicable safety standards or be designed and constructed to prevent the operator from having any part of their body in the machine’s danger zone.
  • Workers shall be provided with special hand tools for placing and removing material to provide easy handling of material without the operator placing their hand in the machine’s danger zone.
  • Machines that have barrels, drums, or other rotating parts must be protected by guards so that these parts cannot revolve unless the guard is in place.
  • Fan blades less than seven feet above the floor shall be guarded, and the guards shall have openings no larger than ½ inch.
  • Machines designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored to the floor to prevent the machine from moving away from its designated place.

Harmed in an Industrial Accident? Contact Us Today

While these OSHA standards are meant to protect workers, employers do not always adhere to these standards as they must. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a machinery accident due to missing safety guards, our Los Angeles attorneys are here to help. We have helped many workers recover the compensation they need to recover after a work injury, and we may be able to do the same for you.

Call Shoop | A Professional Law Corporation at (866) 884-1717 to schedule a free consultation.