Small Business Self-Evaluation Checklist: Machine Guarding

Moving machine parts have the potential for causing severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these needless and preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.

This “Client Handout” provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas with their operations. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes  No  N/A 
Is there a training program to instruct employees on safe methods of machine operations?      
Are employees supervised to ensure they are following safe machine-operating procedures?      
Is there a regular program of safety inspections and cleaning of machinery and equipment?      
Is sufficient clearance provided around and between machines to allow for safe operations, set up and servicing, materials handling, and waste removal?      
Is equipment and machinery securely placed and anchored, when necessary, 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/tagged out for maintenance, repair, or service?      
Are foot-operated-switches guarded or arranged to prevent accidental actuation by personnel or falling objects?      
Are all emergency stop buttons colored red?      
Are all pulleys and belts properly guarded?       
Are splash guards mounted on machines that use coolants?       
Are operators and other employees protected from hazards created at the point of operation, in-going nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks?      
Are machinery guards secured and so arranged that they do not present a hazard in their use?      
Are revolving drums, barrels, and containers required to be guarded by an enclosure that is interlocked with the drive mechanism, so that revolution cannot occur unless the guard enclosure is in place?      
Are measures made to prevent machines from automatically starting when power is restored after a power failure or shutdown?      
Are saws, which are used for ripping, equipped with anti-kick back devices and spreaders?      
Do the cutting head of radial arm saws return to the back of the table when released?      

 

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