Machine guarding protects the operator and other employees in the vicinity from occupational hazards. Guards come in various types, from physical barriers to electronic safety devices.
While machine guarding in Ontario is essential by law, there are other things to keep in mind. For instance, setting up standard procedures to operate, replace, and maintain machine guards the right way. In Ontario, employers also have to ensure adequate safety training for their machine operators.
The practice alone helps protect them from machine hazards. To learn more about machine guarding systems, here’s everything you need to know.
Why Machine Guarding is a Legal Requirement
Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates employers to ensure workers’ safety. One of these requirements includes the use of machine guarding. It refers to protecting machine functions and moving parts that are hazardous. Any part of the machine that can cause injury in the workplace must have a guard.
Machine guarding has become essential because it reduces the likelihood of workplace hazards that occur as a result of human errors, such as when the machine operator does not wear the proper safety and protective gear. The process also reduces risk in case of mechanical failure, like when the machine or its moving parts pose a serious threat.
Likewise, machine guarding provides a measure of protection against poor design. This occurs when machine parts are of poor quality and risk exposure.
Before their application, machine guarding systems must meet certain requirements. These guards should:
- Prevent any part of your body from making contact with moving parts
- Reduce the chances of exposure to any kind of hazardous motion
- Have a durable design that prevents unauthorized removal or tampering
- Be easy to secure and maintain for long periods
- Protect the operator from falling objects
- Not have shear points, jagged edges, or any unfinished surface
- Allow safe lubrication without the need for removing the guards
Important Machine Guarding Practices
Machine guarding also requires the employee to provide adequate information and instruction to their workforce. Your workers must receive training in operating the safety guards. Besides procedural training, your staff must also be aware of performing maintenance practices, such as:
- Describing risks and hazards regarding particular machines
- Documenting all previous incidents pertaining to particular machines
- Operating the machine guards with the right safety wear and gear
Safeguard your machine operator with the right information. If you’re about to assign a new machine to your operator, get your training wheels in place. For machine guarding assessments, get in touch with an expert!
Compliance Experts in Machine Guarding
Here at S.A.F.E Engineering, we know that machine guarding comes with its challenges. This mandatory service is a precautionary measure designed for large machinery.
But if you’re struggling with compliance or procedural training, talk to an expert. Our trained engineers can help your business stay safe and compliant.
For more information about machine guarding in Ontario, call us today!