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Mining and Petroleum Training Service Basics of Equipment Guarding Presented by David Spann Presentation Developed by Rene Azzara. Basics of Machine Safeguarding Crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness - the list of possible machinery-related injuries is as

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Mining and Petroleum Training Service

Basics of

Equipment Guarding

Presented by David Spann

Presentation Developed by Rene Azzara


Basics of Machine Safeguarding

Crushed hands and arms, severed fingers, blindness -

the list of possible machinery-related injuries is as

long as it is horrifying.

There seem to be as many hazards created by moving

machine parts as there are types of machines.

Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from

needless and preventableinjuries.


A good rule to remember is:

Any machine part, function, or process which

many cause injury must be safeguarded.

When the operation of a machine or accidental

contact with it can injure the operator or others

in the vicinity, the hazards must be either

controlled or eliminated.

Tolerable Risk:
  • "risk that is accepted for a given task and hazard combination"
  • - as described in ANSI B11.TR3

Following an organized and logical approach, risk assessment and risk reduction can achieve a tolerable risk.

Risk Assessment Process

Gather Equipment


Determine Equipment Limitations

Identify Equipment

Hazards and Task Hazards

Use Limitations

Space Limitations

Time Limitations

Environment Limitations

Interface Limitations

Catastrophic: Permanent Disabling

Serious: Severe Disabling

Moderate: Significant Disabling

Minor: Sligh Disabling

Estimate Risk

& Probability

Determine Whether Risk

Is Tolerable

Very Likely to Occur

Likely, May Occur

Unlikely, Not Likely to Occur

Remote: Very Unlikely

If Untolerable,

Risk Reduction Measures

Must Be Implemented


Hazard Reduction Activities




Administrative Controls


Safeguarding Technologies

Eliminate and Reduce

Hazards by Design



Where to begin

  • Know how to use the machine safely before operating.
  • Have you reviewed the owner's manual? It will provide
  • operating, repairing, lubricating and fuel information.
  • Are the Warning Decals in place?
  • Are the machine guards properly placed and in good condition?
  • Are electrical lines damage free?
  • Are air and hydraulic lines in good condition and not leaking?
  • Is the setup a proper setup?
  • Is the area around the machines orderly?

Safety begins before you

  • even start the equipment!
    • Personal Protection:
    • Wear PPE, such as goggles, safety shoes
    • and leather gloves.
    • Long hair should be tied back or tucked
    • under to avoid getting caught in machinery.
    • Avoid wearing jewelry.

Machine Maintenance Checklist for Safety:

Keep machines repaired, lubricated and adjusted.

Clean up excess lubricants.

Clearly mark control switches and valves that control machines.

Check machines for emergency stop switches; they should be located on or near the machine so the machine can be turned off quickly if a malfunction occurs.


Where Mechanical Hazards Occur

Dangerous moving parts in

three basic areas require safeguarding:

Power transmission apparatus

All components of the mechanical system which transmit energy

to the part of the machine performing the work. These components

include flywheels, pulleys, belts, connecting rods, couplings, cams,

spindles, chains, cranks, and gears.


Other moving parts

All parts of the machine which move while the machine is working.

These can include reciprocating, rotating, and transverse moving

parts, as well as feed mechanisms and auxiliary parts of the machine.



The Point of Operation

The point where work is performed on the material, such as cutting, shaping, boring, or forming of stock.



Hazardous Mechanical Motions and Actions

  • The basic types of hazardous mechanical motions and actions are:
  • Motions
    • rotating (including in-running nip points)
    • reciprocating
    • transversing
  • Actions
    • cutting
    • punching
    • shearing
    • bending

Some guards are designed based on hand speed

The human hand can move at

63 inches per second!

Example: A device located 2 inches from a

grinder must be able to sense the hand and

stop the grinder in under 0.03 seconds.


types of guarding devices
Types of guarding devices
  • Presence Sensing (photo electric light curtain)
  • Pullback - Restraint - Gates or Covers
  • Safety Controls
  • Others: distance and automatic systems

Be Aware of Nip Points:

Hazardous spots where loose clothing or body parts

could be caught and squeezed in rotating parts.

All pulleys, belts, sprockets and chains, flywheels, shafting

and shaft projections, gears, and couplings, or other rotating

or reciprocating parts.

If it moves, it merits your attention!


Nip Points:

  • Rotating Dangers
    • clothing
    • jewelry
    • hair
    • body parts

Do not wear gloves around reciprocating or rotating machine parts.


Note: A nip point entry permit system is intended for observation of hazardous

machinery while at a safe distance.

It is not a "Permit to Work" in a nip point zone.

Permit to Work activity must only be undertaken with the machine shut down

and locked out.


Protecting Hands and Fingers Guide:

  • Identify the pinch points on mechanically moved loads, lowered loads and metal drums.
  • Know when to wear gloves. Sometimes gloves can present a danger!
  • Allow rotating parts to come to a stop before working on them.
  • Use a tapered punch or other appropriate tool to align the holes in parts.
  • Rings should not be worn when operating or repairing machinery.
  • Remove fuses with fuse removers, not fingers.
  • Do not test the temperatures of gases, liquids, or solids with hands. Reflex damage can
  • occur immediately.
  • Keep grinder tool rests adjusted to 1/8 inch gap or less.
  • Handle sharp or pointed tools (hatchets, chisels, punches, awls, knives, pitch forks and
  • machine blades) carefully.
  • Perform maintenance only when tools or machinery are not in operation.
  • If guards are removed to perform maintenance, replace immediately after servicing.

Reciprocating motions

may be hazardous because, during the

back-and-forth or up-and-down motion,

a worker may be struck by or caught

between a moving and a stationary part.

Transverse motion (movement

in a straight, continuous line) creates

a hazard because a worker may be

struck or caught in a pinch or shear

point by the moving part.


More Safety Considerations

Never step across a rotating power shaft.

Equipment operators should wear close-fitting clothes and slip-resistant footwear. Rotating parts catch loose clothing easily.

Never allow children around the equipment or work area.


Machinery Maintenance and Repair

Good maintenance and repair procedures contribute significantly to the safety of the maintenance crew as well as that of machine operators.

In addition to guarding, you need to understand:

LOTO - Lockout/Tagout (aka)

CHE - Control of Hazardous Energy

In shops where several maintenance persons might be working on the same machine, multiple lockout devices accommodating several padlocks are used. The machine cannot be reactivated until each person removes his or her lock. As a matter of general policy, lockout control is gained by the procedure of issuing personal padlocks to each maintenance or repair person; no one but that person can remove the padlock, thereby each worker controls the power systems.

Whenever machines or equipment are serviced,
  • there are hazards encountered by the employees
  • performing the servicing or maintenance which are
  • unique to the repair or maintenanceprocedures being
  • conducted.
  • These hazards may exist due to the failure of the
  • employees doing the servicing or maintenance to stop
  • the machine being worked on.
  • Even if the machine has been stopped, the machine
  • can still be hazardous due to the possibility of the
  • machine becoming reenergized or restarting.


Guards are barriers which prevent

access to dangerous areas.

There are four general types of guards:

Fixed - A fixed guard is a permanent part of the machine.

Interlocked - When this type of guard is opened or removed, the tripping mechanism and/or power automatically shuts off or disengages, and the machine cannot cycle or be started until the guard is back in place.

Adjustable - Adjustable guards are useful because they allow flexibility in accommodating various sizes of stock.

Self-Adjusting - The openings of these barriers are determined by the movement of the stock. Self-adjusting guards offer different degrees of protection.


Guard Construction

Today many builders of single-purpose machines provide point-of-operation and power transmission safeguards as standard equipment.

However, not all machines in use have built-in safeguards

provided by the manufacturer!


Guards designed and installed by the builder offer

  • two main advantages:
    • They usually conform to the design and function of the
    • machine.
    • They can be designed to strengthen the machine in some
    • way or to serve some additional functional purposes.
Be wary of older
  • equipment!
  • Inspect older equipment, and if
  • necessary upgrade machinery to
  • current standards.
  • Lock out or block moving machinery
  • against motion before working nearby
  • unless all pulleys and pinch points
  • are guarded or located where persons
  • can not contact them.
  • Guard pinch points on conveyor
  • pulleys
  • Establish and enforce policies that
  • prohibit work or travel near
  • unguarded machinery components.

A conveyor attendant with 5 years mining

experience was fatally injured at an open

pit copper operation. The victim became

entangled in a tripper conveyor pulley.

User-built guards are sometimes necessary for a variety
  • of reasons. They have these advantages:
  • Often, with older machinery, they are the only practical safeguarding solution.
  • They may be the only choice for mechanical power transmission apparatus in older plants, where machinery is not powered by individual motor drives.
  • They permit options for point-of-operation safeguards when skilled personnel design and make them.
  • They can be designed and built to fit unique and even changing situations.
  • They can be installed on individual dies and feeding mechanisms.
  • Design and installation of machine safeguards by plant personnel can help to promote safety consciousness in the workplace.
User-built guards also have
  • disadvantages:
  • User-built guards may not conform well to the configuration and function of the machine.
  • There is a risk that user-built guards may be poorly designed or built.
  • Intended to be installed at some point, yet never were.
Additional considerations when building
  • a guard:
  • Does the design, construction, selection of materials and guard installation prevent contact with all moving machine part hazards?
  • Does the guard provide protection by itself,and not rely on visual or tactile awareness of a hazard, administrative controls or procedures such as warnings, signs, lights, training, supervision or PPE?
  • Are the guard materials, fastening methods, and construction suitable to withstand the wear, corrosion, vibration and shock of normal operations?
  • If drive belts inside a guard fail, will the whipping action of broken belts be contained?
  • Is the guard recognizable as a guard?
  • Is the guard installed securely?


Ergonomic Considerations of Machine Safeguarding
  • Consider worker stress and fatigue when designing.
  • Employees may defeat guarding if it is difficult to remove and
  • replace easily.
  • Design Considerations:
    • Lightweight, without being flimsy
    • Can be handled by one person
    • Access doors or tops
    • Guards with rollers or wheels
    • Screen that allows operator visual access; also allows operator to rinse off machinery
    • Design so hands and tools cannot fit thru screen
machine safety responsibilities
Machine Safety Responsibilities
  • Management
  • Ensure all machinery is properly guarded
  • Supervisors
  • Train employees on specific guard rules in
  • their areas; Ensure machine guards
  • remain in place and are functional;
  • Immediately correct machine guard
  • deficiencies
  • Employees
  • Do not remove guards unless machine is
  • locked and tagged; Report machine guard
  • problems to supervisors immediately;
  • Do not operate equipment unless
  • guards are in place
proper training should address
Proper training should address:
  • Hazards associated with particular machines
  • How the safeguards provide protection and the hazards for which they are intended
  • How and why to use the safeguards
  • How and when safeguards can be removed and by whom
  • What to do if a safeguard is damaged, missing, or unable to provide adequate protection
Deaths attributed to
  • Inadequate Guarding
  • from MSHA files

On July 21, 2005, a 31-year old plant operator with two years mining

experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel operation.

The victim made a splice on a conveyor belt and was making

adjustments to the belt.

He was found

entangled in the

tail pulley of the



On February 7, 2002, a 37-year-old male laborer (the victim) was fatally injured when he became caught between a conveyor belt and an idler pulley of a rock crushing machine.

The victim's job consisted of sweeping and shoveling

the area around the rock-crushing machine.

Approximately 20 minutes after the victim

arrived at work he was found underneath

the rock crushing machine with his

arm caught between a conveyor belt

and an idler pulley.

The victim was caught by one of the rock crushing machine's conveyor belts and
  • an idler pulley. The location of the victim was underneath the machine near the
  • electrical panel.

What steps did the

investigator note that

should have been taken

that would have

prevented this fatality?

  • Hazard analysis of equipment prior to use.
  • Employee task training.
  • Proper guarding.
  • Installation of pull cable emergency stops that surrounds the entire
  • machine's perimeter instead of intermittently placed push buttons.







Does the idler present a significant hazard?

Is a person likely to get close to the idler roller face?

Is the nip point directly accessible?







An effective guard is required

On June 17, 2005, a 32-year-old equipment operator/mechanic with
  • 5 years mining experience was fatally injured at a sand and gravel
  • operation. The victim was removing toggle seat wedge bolts so
  • that the broken pitman toggle seat could be replaced.

The safety pins, provided by the manufacturer:

- had not been installed

- no steps had been taken to block/secure this

component against hazardous motion.

The pitman assembly shifted and fatally pinned

the victim against the crusher framework.


On November 23, 2003, a 44-year-old company vice president

with 2 years mining experience was fatally injured at a crushed

stone operation.

The victim was using a steel bar to dislodge a blockage in an

impact crusher. The bar contacted a moving crusher component causing it to be propelled and strike the victim's neck.

The accident occurred because the procedures used to dislodge the blockage of rock were inadequate.





When the blockage occurred, the victim failed to deenergize

and lock out the crusher before attempting to dislodge the rock.


Lesson: Deenergize and lockout equipment.

Never attempt to remove jammed material while machinery is in operation.

Shut down, isolate, and block all forms of hazardous energy before performing machine maintenance.

Do not allow employees to position themselves directly over the intake of a horizontal impactor while it is actively crushing rock.

Viewing decks should be designed and installed where worker's can safely access the equipment to observe operation.


The worker had reversed his truck up to the primary hopper in order to discharge a load of quarried material.

He then walked to the rear of his truck, before falling into the hopper.

In order to discharge the load, it was not necessary to leave the truck. It is unknown why the driver did so.

Nothing can protect you from senseless acts.


Lock out before servicing

As he was oiling a moving conveyor, a worker's pant leg became entangled

in the part of the conveyor, causing his right foot to be dragged in and

crushed between the head sprocket and the side of the conveyor.

His right leg had to be amputated

below his knee.

The worker usually oiled the

conveyor from a relatively safe

position from underneath the


For some reason, on this day,

he decided to oil the conveyor

from an unstable position above

the conveyor without locking out.

His pant legs also hung down

below his boots.

Lesson: Follow task procedures every time!


Work safely around guardrails

A machine tender was found pinned in the ingoing nip point of a press.

He died from massive crush injuries. There was no witness to this

accident. Guardrails were in place around the machine.

It is unclear how the victim fell into the nip point of the press.

He may have been reaching into or over top of one of the guardrails.

Lesson: Never reach through

or over top of a guardrail of

any machinery.


Safe work practices:

Do not defeat guards and place body

parts, tools or pry bars in equipment

that is not deenergized or LOTO.

Develop and follow written procedures for checking the

well-being of a worker working alone or in isolation, including

establishingcontact at predetermined intervals and at the end

of the shift.


Best Practices

  • Ensure that miners receive task training prior to allowing them to perform maintenance or repair on machinery or equipment.
  • Discuss the work procedures, including all possible hazards ( Risk Assessment ) and ensure the manufacturer's recommendations are followed for all repair work.
  • Before working on equipment, lock-out the power and block equipment components against all possible motion/movement resulting from a sudden release of energy.
  • Make sure you have the proper AUTHORITY to deenergize or lock-out equipment before proceeding. Shutting off power may shut down production in other area’s and create safety hazards to unsuspecting individuals.
  • If potential hazards or prescribed procedures are unclear, DO NOT proceed until all safety concerns are adequately resolved.

Now we will watch the DVD:


Junkyard Guards