Scaled Management Systems

Flexible guard for planing machine


The cutter blades at the rear of a planing machine became exposed once the adjustable fence was moved forward. The existing guard only covered the cutter blades on the front side of the adjustable fence.


Recognising this obvious hazard, a guard was designed for the rear of the adjustable fence by the employer. The guard is attached to the rear of the fence, and as the fence moves forward or backward the cutter blade (behind the fence) is always covered by the guard.

The special feature of the guard is its flexibility. The guard was built by attaching wooden slats onto two bicycle chains, and the ability of the chains to hinge at many points provides its flexibility.

The flexible guard ensures safe freedom of movement behind the machine. A fixed guard would protrude from the back of the machine causing an obstruction and a hazard to anyone walking by. The flexible guard means safety, whether the machine is positioned in the middle of the workshop or against a wall as the unused parts of the guard can fold down the back of the machine.



  • The new flexible guard is consistent with legal requirements, it is compact, was simple to construct and is cost effective.
  • Most importantly, the new guard means the cutter head is guarded always, making the machine safe for everyone.