Regulations require employers to provide guards for all dangerous parts of the plant of a workplace, as well as dangerous parts of the workplace, so as to prevent, as far as is practicable, the loss of life or bodily injury.
Although qualified by what is practicable, the community is requiring a higher standard from employers which has been reflected in improvements to Occupational Health and Safety legislation around Australia.
A steel slitting machine is an example of plant with dangerous parts that require guarding. A nip point is created where the shafts and cutters meet. The steel which is being cut is sharp and creates a potential hazard as it moves through the cutters.
The cutters and ejection of steel particles also represent hazards for the operator.
In one example a guard has been introduced by the employer. It is electrically interlocked to the machine which cannot operate while the guard is open. The employer consulted with the machine operators and safety representatives to define and identify the problems and the type of guarding that would be suitable.
The guard consists of a steel frame with diamond mesh which allows the operator to view the whole process. All moveable parts of the guard are interlocked.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- A cost-effective robust guard co-operatively designed and constructed to eliminate the chance of worker injury form dangerous parts.