As a general requirement for all machinery in a facility, machine guards provide protection to operators and employees against the hazards from the moving parts as well as the dispersion of debris during operation.
What is Machine Guarding?
In order to ensure the safety of the employees, machine guards act as the first line of defense against belt drives, rotating shafts, as well as debris flying out from milling and lathe machines.
As different machines require different types of guards, engineers and machine designers create them based on the movements and processes during operation. The following are the four major types of machine guards:
Fixed Guards – These are enclosures permanently attached to the machine and deliver a high level of protection. Fixed guards allow manual feeding and ejection of the material, but prevents it from being accessed once the machine runs. Likewise, these allow protection from fan blades and flywheels.
Adjustable Guards – Similar to fixed guards, there are permanently attached enclosures, but can be modified to handle different sizes of material. The adjustment can be done manually by trained operators. These types of guards are usually installed in lathe and milling machines.
Self-Adjusting Guards – This type of guard has automated features to adapt to changes in size of the material. It senses when the machine is being used or when it is not operational.
Interlocking Guards – This type of guard is selected when fixed or adjustable guards are no longer suitable to use. Interlocking guards have sensors that, when triggered, automatically disengage or shuts off the power source of the machine. It allows secured entry to the internal parts without the need of disassembly.
Machine Guard Inspection Checklist
To ensure the safety and efficiency of machine guards, a routine inspection should be done using the checklist below:
- Strict compliance to the guidelines set by the relevant Occupational Safety and Health authority
- Ensure secured installation of the guard to the machine
- Allow efficient accessibility of machines
- Allow easy access to emergency controls
- Check for visible Indentations, tampering, or any damage to the machine guard
FacilityBot’s Machine Guard Inspection Checklist
FacilityBot has published a Machine Guard Inspection Checklist sample which can be found in our free library. This can be a great help for you in implementing a maintenance program with FacilityBot.FacilityBot is a cloud-based maintenance management software that can help you with your preventive maintenance activities. The return on investment when using a smart facilities management software like FacilityBot includes a decrease in potential downtime cost and improved asset lifecycle decision-making.