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What to Know About OSHA Machine Guarding Safety

Moving machinery and parts can cause severe injuries in the workplace, including burns, crushed fingers and hands, amputations, and blindness. Safeguards are vital to protecting employees from preventable workplace injuries. A facility or worksite manager can apply a machine guard to any machine part, process, or function that may cause injury. North American Safety Products offers machine-guarding solutions for manufacturing, industrial, and commercial settings.

Here we’ll explain machine guarding, its applications, and how to meet OSHA machine guarding requirements so you know the type of solution that will most benefit your facility or worksite.

What Is Machine Guarding?

Machine guarding is a barrier between a machine and workers in industrial settings like plants, factories, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses. Separating workers from moving parts and processes, machine guards can also contain flying debris, control traffic, and prevent vehicles from entering certain areas.

Safety barriers are required for any machine with cutting teeth, moving belts, meshing gears, reciprocating arms, rotating components, shears, or other hazards. Facility and worksite managers can place machine guarding on or around these hazardous areas to prevent human contact with any sparks and chips exiting the machine operation area. Guarding may take the form of a shield or covering device.

OSHA Machine Guarding Requirements

OSHA machine guarding requirements are defined under standard 1910.212, which indicates that one or more machine guarding methods must be provided to protect operators and other workers from the creation of sparks, flying chips, rotating parts, and ingoing nip points, which may originate from saws, hydraulic presses, and lathes. OSHA machine guarding can include electronic safety devices, two-hand tripping devices, and barrier guards.

While it is preferable for machine guarding to be attached to the machine directly, it can be secured to another point if it is otherwise impossible to attach the guard to the machine. However, the guard should not be attached in a way that causes or contributes to workplace injury.

Machine Guarding Benefits

Machine guarding offers the following benefits in addition to keeping operators and workers safe from occupational injuries:

  • Easy Cleaning: Machine guarding prevents injury from sawdust, sparks, paint, and other materials exiting the machine during tasks like cutting, welding, and painting. The guarding also collects the waste materials within a smaller area, making cleaning easier, safer, and less time-consuming.
  • Increased Worker Access: Certain types of machine guarding can reduce the hazardous area around the machine, increasing the overall working space.
  • Reduced Downtime: Machine guarding prevents injuries that lead to downtime. Employees can remain productive throughout the day without interruptions due to injury.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Facilities and worksites must use machine guarding to comply with local and industry regulations from regulatory bodies like OSHA. Fulfilling the minimum requirements ensures the facility complies with regulations and workers have a safer work environment.
  • Improved Morale: Machine guarding gives employees a sense that facility management wants to keep them safe and cares about them, improving morale throughout the facility.
  • Employee Knowledge: Machine guarding helps add to employee knowledge of best safety practices when working in and around hazardous areas, so they can proactively keep themselves and those around them safe.

Machine Guarding Applications

Machine guarding safety can protect workers from the potentially hazardous materials and components handled by:

  • Saws
  • Roll form machines
  • Feeders
  • Milling machines
  • Robotics
  • Assembly line machines

Safe operation of this machinery is critical to avoid possible limb loss, burns, crushed hands and fingers, blindness, or even death. Machines do offer integrated machine-guarding systems, but most facilities benefit from a user-implemented machine guard at the point of operation.  Machine guarding options are also required for a range of robotics systems.

Machine Guarding Equipment From North American Safety Products

Machine guarding comes in various types to protect workers and operators in industrial environments like warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and machine shops. Guarding reduces injury, helps facilities comply with regulatory bodies like OSHA, and improves productivity. At North American Safety Products, we offer various machine guarding options, including accordion-style gates, wire mesh partitions, and custom machine guarding for your specific application. Our VERSA-GUARD® machine guarding solution is highly portable, expandable, lightweight, and durable.

Contact us or request a quote to learn more about the ideal machine guarding solution for your facility.

Versa-Guard® ~Smooth and Pinch Less for Field Trip Viewing Class Safety

3,500-year-old Bronze Age sword discovered at Chicago’s Field Museum

CHICAGO — An ancient sword that was originally catalogued at the Field Museum as a replica turned out to be the real deal.

The sword dates back 3,000 years to the “Bronze Era” and was pulled from the Danube River in Budapest in the 1930s.

It is believed to have been tossed in the water to lost loved ones or was used in battle.

The Field Museum acquired the sword almost 100 years ago from the Hungary National Museum — thinking it was a well-made replica.

Last year, a Hungarian archaeologist came to the museum to collaborate on an upcoming exhibition. The archeologist said he thought the sword was real after spending time with it.

After some back and forth conversation, archeologists and museum officials used an X-ray gun to analyze the sword’s chemical makeup.

That’s when they got the ultimate surprise.

Which Safety Barricades Are Best?

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Which Safety Barricades Are Best

Barricades block or outline hazardous areas, creating a boundary to ensure the safety of employees and the public. By creating a visual and physical obstruction, barricades deter the passage of unauthorized vehicles and pedestrians. The right barricade solution will ultimately boost public and employee safety through highly visible designations.

Protective barrier systems are suitable for installation across a wide range of industries, including retail, entertainment, travel, production, warehousing, manufacturing, and much more. When selecting a safety barricade, it’s important to find the right one based on the size and the application’s unique needs.

Top Benefits of Retractable Safety Barricades

Retractable barricades offer numerous advantages that make them ideal for many applications requiring a flexible safety solution. These benefits include:


Retractable safety barricades allow for the addition of multiple sections to meet varying safety requirements. The carrying handle on these systems also functions as an interlocking end post. This alternative function enables you to develop custom configurations without any need for additional tools.

Easy to Store

In addition to ease of customization and reliable protection, retractable barricades are much easier to store than traditional guarding systems. The retractable design of these barricades results in less weight than other safety systems, making it easy to fold them and store them as needed.

Flexible Design

Retractable safety barricades offer more flexibility compared to other barricade designs. They optimize both efficiency and safety for applications requiring solutions that do not need to restrict full access to a particular area. If you want to increase an area’s accessibility, simply retract the device as needed.

Easy Setup

Retractable safety barricades are considered “Safety on the Ready,” meaning you won’t require professional assembly to set them up. This helps to ensure they are in place with minimal hassle.

Why Our VERSA-GUARD® System Is Right for You

If you’re looking for the ideal retractable safety barricade for your application, you’ll find it with our VERSA-GUARD® barricades. The VERSA-GUARD® offers a more aesthetically pleasing look along with high visibility to help reduce the risk of accidents. Setup is fast and easy to provide the protection you need as soon as you need it.

Our professionally designed solution is highly portable, flexible, and expandable. VERSA-GUARD® is also available in various safety colors, including DOT, OSHA, and NRC color requirements.

VERSA-GUARD® offers the perfect safety barricade for a variety of applications, including:

  • Hotels
  • Airports
  • Restaurants
  • Metro stations
  • Office buildings
  • Educational facilities
  • Construction sites
  • Government facilities
  • Recreation centers
  • Parking garages

VERSA-GUARD® barricades easily contract and expand, enabling you to use them within seconds of setup. They feature steel and aluminum construction and weigh only 25 pounds, allowing for easy carrying and storage. Other features include:

  • Durable, high-gloss powder-coated finish
  • Rugged aluminum expansion frame

Our VERSA-GUARD® barricades are made in the USA for optimal craftsmanship and quality.

Contact NASP for Expandable Barricades

For dependable safety barricades for nearly any application, turn to North American Safety Products. Our VERSA-GUARD® and REAR-GUARD® systems offer superior customizability, visibility, flexibility, and ease of setup and storage. They’re also entirely unique to NASP.

To learn more about our retractable safety barricades and other safety products, contact NASP today or request a quote to find the right product for your application.

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