SpaceGuard Products knows the importance of machine guarding to businesses large and small. In this blog, we will explore the importance of machine guarding and its role in protecting workers from the dangerous moving parts of machinery. We will delve into machine guard types, including fixed and adjustable guards. We will cover the legal requirements and compliance aspects of machine guarding and the cost of not implementing it.
What Is An Automation Guarding System?
Machine guarding refers to using barriers, shields, and other safety devices to protect workers from the dangerous moving parts of machinery. Moving machine parts, sharp edges, and hot surfaces can cause serious workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. The purpose of machine guarding is to prevent accidents while the machinery is in use. Any machine part, function, or process that might cause injury should be safeguarded.
Machine guards can include fixed guards, such as barriers or enclosures, and adjustable guards, such as safety gates. It’s important to note that proper machine guarding is a legal requirement and an essential aspect of workplace safety.
An automation guarding system is all components used together in machine guarding to protect the space surrounding a machine; the posts, panels, brackets, door, and lock. The system is designed to protect workers from the dangerous moving parts of machinery while still allowing the machinery to operate efficiently. Automation guarding systems can be used in various industrial and manufacturing settings to keep workers separated from hazardous situations such as moving equipment and parts.
Different Types of Machine Guards Available
Available machine guards are fixed or adjustable. Fixed guards, such as barriers or enclosures, are designed to protect workers from the dangerous moving parts of a machine at all times. These guards are typically permanent and cannot be removed or adjusted. They effectively prevent access to the machine’s moving parts and can be used to enclose the entire machine or specific areas. Examples of fixed guards include enclosures, barriers, and fencing.
Adjustable guards, such as safety gates, are designed to protect workers only when the machine is in use. These guards can be adjusted or removed as needed to allow maintenance or repair work to be carried out safely. Adjustable guards are typically used to protect specific areas of the machine that are only accessible when the machine is in use.
The choice of machine guards depends on the particular needs of the business and the type of machinery utilized. Fixed guards are often used when the machinery is continuously operating, and accessibility to the moving parts is not required.
On the other hand, adjustable guards are often used when accessibility to the machinery is necessary for maintenance or repair work. It’s important to note that proper machine guarding is a legal requirement and an essential aspect of workplace safety.
The Importance and Cost of Machine Guarding Compliance
One of the main reasons machine guarding is so essential is that it is a legal requirement set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has strict regulations to ensure that employers provide a safe working environment for their employees and take the necessary steps to protect their workers from the dangers of machinery. These regulations require employers to install and maintain machine guards on all machinery that poses a risk of worker injury.
Failure to comply with OSHA regulations regarding machine guarding can result in significant fines and penalties. Employers violating these regulations can face hefty fines, ranging from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the breach. These fines can significantly impact a business, especially for small or medium-sized companies. Furthermore, non-compliance can also lead to legal action.
However, the cost of not implementing machine guarding goes beyond the financial penalties; it also includes the workers’ safety, the machinery’s damage, and the potential loss of production. The possibility of accidents and injuries can have a significant impact on the productivity of the workforce. It can also significantly affect the workforce’s morale, decreasing productivity and employee turnover.
Machine guarding is an investment for any business, but the cost of not implementing it can be much higher. By investing in machine guarding, companies can ensure the safety of their workers, avoid costly fines and penalties, and maintain a productive and efficient workforce.
At SpaceGuard Products, we understand that every business has unique needs and requirements regarding machine guarding. That’s why we offer a wide range of standard machine guarding options and custom solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers. Our team of experts can help you navigate the process of selecting the best machine guarding solution for your business.
We invite you to look at our infographic that illustrates the cost of not implementing a RageWire® Robotic Guarding system. Using 2020 as an example, it details the total loss of $164 billion by companies due to employers’ uninsured costs, medical expenses, wage and productivity losses, and administrative expenses, all of which are avoidable with the right automation guarding systems in place. The total cost of a workplace accident can be four to ten times the direct cost.
There are both direct and indirect costs to workplace injury. Direct costs include hospital bills, worker time, idle machine time for repairs or damage, overtime, and hiring expenses. Indirect costs include OSHA fines, loss of business, increased insurance premiums, negative publicity, decreased employee morale and productivity, legal fees, new employee training expenses, and more. The total cost of a workplace accident can be four to ten times the direct cost.
You achieve a 600% return on investment for every dollar invested in safety. If you’re interested in learning more about our custom solutions or have questions about our standard machine guarding options, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Visit our website and fill out our online contact form. One of our experts will contact you to discuss your needs and how we can help. We can also be reached by phone or email. Our team of experts is ready to answer any questions and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Let us help ensure your workforce’s safety and machinery’s longevity.