Safeguarding Machinery and Equipment

While adjusting a conveyor belt, a millwright is drawn into the unguarded
tail drive of a belt conveyor and suffers fatal crushing injuries. A young
worker feeding sheet rubber into a guillotine shear loses both hands when
the machine cycles unexpectedly. A lumber piler cleaning up around a
lumber sorting table (green chain) is strangled when his loose clothing is
caught on an exposed keyway at the end of a slowly rotating shaft.
These are three examples of serious injury or death resulting from
unguarded or inadequately safeguarded machinery and equipment,
which can happen in any workplace that uses powered equipment.
Each year, physical contact with machines and powered equipment
account for a significant number of life-altering injuries, including
amputations and disfigurement, and may also result in the death
of a worker. Most of these accidents can be prevented by effective
safeguarding, lockout procedures, and supervision and training.
Why is safeguarding important? It is impossible to predict what people will
do around powered machinery, no matter what their level of experience
or training. Effective safeguarding protects against both human error and
lapses in judgment, as well as accidental contact with moving parts.