Machine Guarding Information: OSHA Citation Data, Free Online Word Game, Free Checklist, FAQs & More

Machine Guarding Online Safety Training Course Image

As you probably know, OSHA publishes a list list of the ten most commonly cited standard violations every year. And every year, 1910.212 (Machine Guarding) is on the list.

As a result, we’ve pulled together some machine guarding resources to help you use machine guarding more properly, to comply with OSHA machine guarding rules, and to avoid those nasty OSHA fines. And don’t forget to download our free OSHA General Industry Machine Guarding Checklist, too.

Let us know if you’ve got some other resources you’d suggest. The comments field awaits.

Online Machine Guarding Training Course Sample

Check out a sample of our online  machine guarding training, which is one title in our online health and safety training library.

The Online Machine Guarding Training Word Game

Here’s an online machine guarding training word game for you. Safety training word games like this one can be a great addition to your new employee safety onboarding program. They’re also perfect for refresher training, either delivered online to your employees or completed together as a group activity during safety meetings.

Enjoy playing!

Machine Guarding Safety and Safety Training FAQs

In this section, we provide a lot of “basics” about machine guarding, machine guarding hazards, and machine guarding for hazard control. This information is drawn from an OSHA publication on machine guarding.

Where Should Machines Be Guarded? What’s Hazardous?

Dangerous moving parts that need to be guarded tend to be located in three areas. These are:

  • The point of operation–where the “action” of the machine happens, such as where a press cuts metal
  • The power transmission apparatus–where the machine transmits energy to motion (motors, etc.)
  • Other moving parts–everything else that moves

Inspect these three areas for safety hazards on a machine.

What Are the Different Types of Motions and Actions?

Watch for these potentially dangerous motions:

  • Rotating-movement in a circle
  • Reciprocating-back and forth movement
  • Transversing-movement in a straight line

Watch for these potentially dangerous actions:

  • Cutting-by rotating, reciprocating, or transverse motion
  • Punching-when power is applied to one side, such as in stamping
  • Shearing-powering a saw or knife to trim a side
  • Bending-when power is applied to draw or stamp metal

What Are Some Non-Mechanical Hazards to Look for?

  • Power sources (frayed wires, etc.)
  • Noise
  • Hazardous fluids and other hazardous substances

What Are Some Types of Machine Safeguards?

OSHA provides a nice list, which we’ve included here for you.

  • Guards, including fixed, interlocked, adjustable, and self-adjusting
  • Devices, including presence-sensing, pullback, restraint, safety controls, and gates
  • Location/distance
  • Feeding and ejection methods, including automatic feed, semi-automatic feed, automatic ejection, semi-automatic ejection, and the use of robots
  • Additional aids, including awareness barriers, miscellaneous protective shields, and hand-feeling tools and holding fixtures.

OSHA’s also got some nice drawings of these. Check ’em out here.

What Must Your Machine Guarding Safeguard Do?

Your machine guarding safeguard should:

  • Keep workers from contacting moving parts
  • Be secure so it’s not easily removed
  • Provide protection so falling parts can’t fall into moving parts
  • Create no new hazards that weren’t there before
  • Create no interference with the worker
  • Allow for easy lubrication of moving part

What Training Should Workers Receive?

Be sure workers receive proper safety training, including:

  • A description of all hazards associated with any machine they work with
  • An explanation of the safeguards, an explanation of the hazards they are intended to guard, and an explanation of how they work
  • How and why to use the safeguards
  • How and when safeguards can be removed, and who can remove them (in most cases, this is just qualified maintenance and repair people follow specific safe work practices)
  • What to do if they discovered a safeguard is ineffective, damaged, or missing


What is the Hierarchy of Controls?

The hierarchy of controls is a method to use when trying to create a solution for a workplace hazard. The idea is you should try one type of control before trying another. In order, the types of controls you should try are:

  • Elimination/Substitution
  • Engineering controls (machine guarding is an example of an engineering control)
  • Work practice controls
  • PPE

For more, check out the HoC article and free JHA guide, below.

What About Isolation of Energy and Lockout/Tagout When Guards Are Removed for Maintenance?

Guards can be removed for maintenance and repair, but only by specially trained maintenance personnel. In those cases, energy sources should be isolated and the machine should be locked and tagged out. Read more about maintenance, repair, isolation of energy, and lockout/tagout at OSHA’s website here, or check out our courses Lockout/Tagout for the Affected Employees and Lockout/Tagout for Authorized Employees.

We’ve included course samples of those two online lockout tagout training courses below, plus here’s an entire blog devoted to the issue of online lockout tagout training.

Lockout Tagout for Affected Employees

Lockout Tagout for Authorized Employees 

Does OSHA have a Safety & Health Topic webpage for machine hazards and machine guarding regulations?

Yep, here’s OSHA’s helpful Machine Guarding Safety and Health topic page.

Does OSHA have any eTools for the machine guarding regulations?

Here’s OSHA’s Machine Guarding eTool.

Does OSHA provide any other helpful machine guarding training resources?

They do. Here are a few:

How about a machine guarding safety checklist?

Yep, we’ve made a free downloadable machine guarding checklist in PDF format for you. Just click that link or the button at the bottom of this article.

What about NIOSH? Do they offer machine guarding resources too?

Here’s the NIOSH Machine Safety website.

What about Industry Consensus Standards for Machine Design and Safeguarding?

OSHA offers a nice list of them here, and provides some helpful thoughts about incorporating both industry consensus standards and OSHA regulations.

Machine Guarding Information

Hope that helped point you in the right direction on machine guarding. Don’t forget to check out our online machine guarding training course. And there’s a free guide to help you with OSHA General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance, too.

OSHA 1910 General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance Checklist Button

Free OSHA 1910/General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance Checklist Download

Download this free checklist to help your compliance efforts with OSHA’s general industry machine guarding regulations.

Download Checklist

OSHA 1910 General Industry Machine Guarding Compliance Checklist Button
Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. He's worked in training/learning & development for 25 years, in safety and safety training for more than 10, is an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer for General Industry OSHA 10 and 30, has completed a General Industry Safety and Health Specialist Certificate from the University of Washington/Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center and an Instructional Design certification from the Association of Talent Development (ATD), and is a member of the committee creating the upcoming ANSI/ASSP Z490.2 national standard on online environmental, health, and safety training. Jeff frequently writes for magazines related to safety, safety training, and training and frequently speaks at conferences on the same issues, including the Washington Governor's Safety and Health Conference, the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Conference, the Wisconsin Safety Conference, the MSHA Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, and others.

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