Machine Guarding OSHA Requirements

OSHA’s requirements for machine guarding are found in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart O, Machinery and Machine Guarding.

The regulation is broken down into these components:

General requirement 1910.212(a)(1) states that one or more methods of machine guarding must be used to protect operators and other employees from hazards, including those created by point of operation, in-running nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.

Hazardous Mechanical Motions and Actions

Identifying hazards is the first step toward protecting workers and promoting safety in the workplace. The basic types of hazardous mechanical motions and actions are:

  • Motions
  • Rotating (including in-running nip points)
  • Reciprocating
  • Transverse motion
  • Cutting
  • Punching
  • Shearing
  • Bending

Examples of Hazardous Mechanical Motions

A rotating motion can be dangerous. Even smooth, slowly rotating shafts can grip clothing, and through mere skin contact, force an arm or hand into a dangerous position.

Collars, couplings, cams, clutches, flywheels, shaft ends, spindles and horizontal or vertical shafting are examples of common hazardous rotating mechanisms. The danger increases when bolts, nicks, abrasions and projecting keys or setscrews are exposed on rotating parts. According to 29 CFR 1910.219 (L), these must be made flush or guarded.