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Machine guarding

Employee exposure to unguarded or inadequately guarded machines is prevalent in many workplaces. Amputations are one of the most severe and crippling types of injuries in the occupational workplace.

All personnel have to be focused on recognising and controlling common amputation hazards associated with the operation and use of certain types of machines.

A member has recently issued advice to its employees as follows:

All machines consist of three fundamental areas:

  • The point of operation
  • The power transmission device
  • The operating controls

Despite all machines having the same basic components, their safeguarding needs differ widely due to varying physical characteristics and operator involvement.

  • Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these needless and preventable injuries
  • Any machine part, function, or process which may 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 eliminated or controlled.
In-running nip points Nip points can occur between rotating and In-running nip points fixed parts which create a shearing, crushing, or abrading action. ​
Hazards are caused by the rotating parts on machinery. Parts can rotate in opposite directions while their axes are parallel to each other.
Are also created between rotating and tangentially moving parts.
Rotating motion Can be dangerous; even smooth slowly rotating shafts can grip hair and clothing, and through minor contact force the hand and arm into a dangerous position.
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 By movement in straight, continuous line, creates a hazard because a worker may be struck or caught in a pinch or shear point by the moving part.
Cutting action The danger of cutting action exists at the point of operation where finger, arm and body injuries can occur and where flying chips or scrap material can strike the head, particularly the eyes or face.

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.