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Machine Guarding

This checklist is not all-inclusive. You should add to it or delete items that do not apply to your business; however, carefully consider each item and make your decision. You should refer to Minnesota statutes and rules, and federal OSHA standards adopted by reference in Minnesota for specific guidance that may apply to your work situation (see (Note: This checklist is typical for general industry but not for construction or maritime industries.)
  • Is there a training program to instruct employees on safe methods of machine operation?
  • Is there adequate supervision to ensure that employees are following safe machine operating procedures?
  • Is there a regular program of safety inspection of machinery and equipment?
  • Is all machinery and equipment kept clean and properly maintained?
  • Is sufficient clearance provided around and between machines to allow for safe operations, set up and servicing, material handling and waste removal?
  • Is equipment and machinery securely placed and anchored to prevent tipping or other movement that could result in personal injury?
  • Is there a power shut-off switch within reach of the operator's position at each machine?
  • Can electric power to each machine be locked out for maintenance, repair, or security?
  • Are the noncurrent-carrying metal parts of electrically operated machines bonded and grounded?
  • Are foot-operated switches guarded or arranged to prevent accidental actuation by personnel or falling objects?
  • Are manually operated valves and switches controlling the operation of equipment and machines clearly identified and readily accessible?
  • Are all emergency stop buttons colored red?
  • Are all pulleys and belts within 7 feet (2.1336 meters) of the floor or working level properly guarded?
  • Are all moving chains and gears properly guarded?
  • Are splash guards mounted on machines that use coolant to prevent the coolant from reaching employees?
  • Are methods provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards created at the point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks?
  • Are machine guards secure and arranged so they do not cause a hazard while in use?
  • If special hand tools are used for placing and removing material, do they protect the operator's hands?
  • Are revolving drums, barrels and containers guarded by an enclosure that is interlocked with the drive mechanism so that revolution cannot occur unless the guard enclosure is in place?
  • Do arbors and mandrels have firm and secure bearings, and are they free from play?
  • Are provisions made to prevent machines from automatically starting when power is restored after a power failure or shutdown?
  • Are machines constructed so as to be free from excessive vibration when the largest size tool is mounted and run at full speed?
  • If machinery is cleaned with compressed air, is air pressure controlled and PPE or other safeguards utilized to protect operators and other workers from eye and body injury?
  • Are fan blades protected with a guard having openings no larger than l/2 inch (1.2700 centimeters) when operating within 7 feet (2.1336 meters) of the floor?
  • Are saws used for ripping equipped with antikickback devices and spreaders?
  • Are radial arm saws so arranged that the cutting head will gently return to the back of the table when released?
Source: Federal OSHA