Guards on machines (such as lathes, drill presses, grinders, hydraulic presses, band saws, radial saws, table saws), when in good working condition and properly adjusted, protect the operator and other employees from hazards and potential serious injuries such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.
Basic safety rules for machine safeguarding consist of:
- Check guard(s) and make sure they are in good working condition;
- Do not operate a machine if a guard is missing or damaged;
- Damaged or missing guard(s) must be replaced and a machine shall be locked out until repairs are completed;
- Adjustable guards must be set properly to prevent access to point of operation and danger zone;
- Always leave guards in place while the machine is in operation;
- Always leave guards in place over idle machines where there is a potential for injury by contact;
- Machines designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored to prevent accidental displacement;
- Machine shall be kept clean such that guards are fully operational;
- Avoid wearing gloves, loose clothes or jewellery and long hair that may get caught in the machine;
- Put guard back in position after its removal for repairs and before the machine returns to operation.