University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Machine Guarding
Policy Number: LR 701.25
Effective Date: February 4, 2010
Revised Dates: February 4, 2010; November 3, 2023
Most Recent Review Date: November 3, 2023
This policy document is designed to ensure that CSB|OSB employees and students follow procedures which assure that equipment or machines are operated safely and meet state, federal, and industry machine guarding standards. This applies to all employees and students who may work with, or adjacent to, equipment or machines that may pose a safety hazard.
“Machines” include, but are not limited to, fans, compressors, bench grinders, fuel pumps, dumpsters, trash compactors, and table saws. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury, must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with it can injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be either controlled or eliminated. A “machine hazard occurs at the point of operation where the actual work is performed, and can be created by: components which transmit energy, such as pulleys, belts, chains, gears, couplings, or flywheels; or other parts which move while the machine is working, including reciprocating, rotating, and transverse parts.
Roles and Responsibility
The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) is responsible for developing policies for ensuring that guards on facility equipment and machines operated by Facilities Management. Personnel are required to know, understand, and apply these policies to ensure that safeguards are kept in place and used as originally designed by the manufacturer. Shop supervisors are required to oversee daily activity and ensure that all equipment meets operational safety standards. Operators of machines and equipment are required to inspect safety guards and the general safe operating condition of all machines, tools, and equipment prior to each use. In academic areas, the lab/shop supervisors are responsible for ensuring guards on machines operated by personnel or students under their supervision are kept in place and used as originally designed. EHS prepares and updates the written Machine Guarding policy and responds to any employee or student machine guarding concern or question. All affected employees and students should report any unguarded machine hazard to their supervisor immediately. All employees should forward any student concerns or observations regarding the lack of machine guarding to their supervisor.
Hierarchy of Guarding
Machine guarding decisions should be made in the following order of preference:
- Design out or eliminate the hazard.
- Physically “engineer out” the exposure to the hazard.
- Guard the hazard.
- Require personal protective equipment.
- Use warning devices, or make the danger “manifest.”
- Use warning signs.
- Use safe working practices and procedures.
Inspections and Audits
Machines that require guarding will be inspected regularly by EHS. Based on the results of these inspections, maintenance, or replacement of guards will be conducted as necessary. EHS will audit the program annually and recommend appropriate corrective actions.
Any person who works near or adjacent to any sort of machine will receive necessary training before he or she can begin operating machinery. Affected employees receive machine guarding training specific to the hazards being controlled on the piece of equipment. The shop supervisor must train students in using machines. Employees performing maintenance related activities will receive machine guarding training on an annual basis.
EHS maintains records of machine guarding training and copies of the annual inspection checklists.
Key References and Resources
The documents listed below may be obtained from the Environmental Health and Safety Office or accessed online through the following hyperlinks.
Source: Environmental Health and Safety
Approved By: Environmental Health and Safety Committee
Custodian: Environmental Health and Safety Committee