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3 Ways Machine Guarding Keeps You OSHA-Compliant
October 31, 2022 at 6:00 PM
3 Ways Machine Guarding Keeps You OSHA-Compliant

Heavy-duty machinery is crucial to 3D scanning, building information modeling, and reality capture. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that machinery misuse results in serious injury regardless of industry: amputation, blindness, burns, and crushed fingers and hands are everyday tragedies.

And this doesn’t even begin to cover legal repercussions.

OSHA machine guarding is a must for any machinery-intensive environment and can secure a business’ reputation. Most importantly, it keeps workers safe. In today’s post, we’ll go over three ways machine guarding can help companies to stay OSHA-compliant so they can be safe and successful for years to come.

By Protecting Workers
To start, machine guarding uses a physical control or barrier to control machinery that can hurt operators or others nearby.

The most apparent way machine guarding can help companies stay OSHA-compliant is by protecting workers. It’s hard to overstate how important this is.

According to the organization, improper machine guarding results in a staggering number of accidents yearly. These include 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, abrasions, and over 800 deaths.

By Using Machine-Specific Guards
Another critical element of workplace safety is having proper machine-guarding protocols in place. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to this, and there are four different types of guarding methods:

  • Fixed. This permanent machine part does not depend on other moving parts to function. Fixed guards are often made of sheet metal, screen, wire cloth, bars, plastic, and other durable materials to handle prolonged use.
  • Interlocked. When opened or removed, an interlocked guard automatically shuts off or disengages. This stops the machine’s moving parts and cannot be restarted until the guard is back in place.

    These guards use mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic power or a combination of the three. Replacing the guard also shouldn’t automatically restart the machine.
  • Adjustable. These are useful since they can accommodate various stock sizes. They work by providing an adjustable barrier to complete multiple production operations. A plus of adjustable guards is that they’re suitable for many specific applications and product sizes.
  • Self-adjusting guards do the same job as adjustable guards but automatically adapt to the stock size. Moving materials push the guard away and create an opening that is only large enough for the individual stock to pass through. The guard then returns to its original position after workers remove the stock. These guards can be made of plastic, metal, or other durable material.

By Protecting Employers
Admittedly, worker safety is the most important goal of OSHA machine guarding. But OSHA protocols protect employers as well.

By law, employers must adequately guard machinery in their facilities. When unguarded or poorly guarded equipment injures workers, it’s an expensive problem for employers since it increases workers’ compensation claims.

To put the cost into perspective, here are some surprising statistics:

  • There are 4.9 million annual workers' compensation claims. This is by both private and government employees.
  • The average claim is $41,000.
  • The average cost of a claim for sprains alone is $34,409.
  • Fall and slip claims cost an average of $47,681 per claim.
  • In 2021 alone, workers' compensation cost employers over $100 billion.

Team up with Spartan
Based in Northern Indiana, Spartan Scanning Solutions is committed to our clients’ success and safety nationwide. We use advanced technology and innovative approaches to redefine what's possible in engineering.

Our founders have years of experience in the industry and have seen its shortcomings firsthand. This means we know how to provide the best solutions for our commercial and industrial clients. Our accurate, up-to-date data makes it possible for our customers to make informed decisions to improve their business.

We want to hear from you whether you’re in the residential or commercial sector. Reach out and begin your journey to industry-leading scanning services today!