The current machine guarding regulations require that all dangerous parts of a machine, are adequately guarded so far as is practicable. These must be solidly constructed, securely mounted and constantly maintained in an efficient state. Attention must be given to the proper adjustment of the guard and the guard must be constantly kept in position while the machine is in use or motion.
All spur and other toothed or friction gearing, pulley wheels and associated drive gear which is part of the machine driven by mechanical power, shall be enclosed unless it is so situated as to be as safe as it would be if it were completely enclosed.
Therefore, enclosing the complete process is often the only method available to adequately control any potential hazards and provide sufficient protection for workers from injury.
For example, in the process of packaging dehydrated food products several hazard areas were identified. Entanglement could occur with rotating parts, in filling the food packets and operating the conveying system trapping and nip points were identified. There was also a problem of contact with the heat sealing unit.
It is more cost-effective and efficient to consider these necessary control measures at the design or purchasing stage.
When commissioning new plant for a completely new work-site, one company recognised this and consulted with the manufacturers in the guarding requirements that were necessary and to establish the safest operation possible.
The solution from this joint consultation was to enclose the dangerous parts of the process using clear carbonate materials. This was so that packaging and sealing of dehydrated food products could be viewed during the whole process.
To ensure access to dangerous machine parts was eliminated during operation, all doors were interlocked to the machine.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- Morale within this work area has increased.
- The company has reported a reduction in injuries form this process.