OSHA publishes its Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards following inspections of worksites during each fiscal year. Machine Guarding often makes the list, and at No. 9, the last fiscal year was no exception.
Aside from the obvious benefit of drastically reducing preventable injuries in the workplace, properly guarded equipment can and does reduce workers’ compensation rates. Machine guarding that is designed and installed properly also keeps your business in compliance, closing the door on costly OSHA violations, and in some cases, increasing productivity while keeping employees safe.
Our machine guarding services are built on a four-phase approach, which includes assessment, engineering, installation and review. Here are just a few specific details we’d like to highlight:
Consulting: Companies may have the capabilities to design, build and install machine guarding systems in-house, but in many cases, they don’t know how to correct issues or violations and need guidance in how to approach a project. Our experience speaks for itself.
Custom solutions: Some machine guarding equipment can be purchased and installed with few modifications. A drill press, for example, has “off the shelf” guards, but most guards and electrical safety systems require design and fabrication due to the complexity of the machine and how it is being used. We design robust machine guarding systems to fit any need.
Training: We train employees how to operate and maintain every installation. Some safety equipment, such as light curtains or laser scanners, require daily checks to ensure proper operation. These devices are known as presence sensing devices (PSDs). All manufacturers of these devices require testing on a daily basis prior to operation.
While the cost of machine guarding is always front and center in our discussions with customers, it pays to do it right. We see in-house installation attempts, but without proper design and fabrication, it often ends up being removed. This wastes time and money, but more importantly, it leaves the door open for injuries and OSHA violations.
The workforce is constantly changing, and many new employees lack the skillset to identify or understand workplace hazards. What’s more, many companies still use equipment that was manufactured long before current OSHA or ANSI requirements were established. Safety starts with compliant equipment and employees who know how to use it.