Machine Guarding Training Materials (1910.212)


Each year OSHA publishes their list of the top 10 most cited workplace safety standard violations. While there are always some shifts in ranking, the standards on the list remain remarkably consistent, year after year.

To help trainers and safety representatives address these consistent problems, we’ve put together a list of resources to use while training your workers about each standard on OSHA’s Top 10 list. In this post, we focus on machine guarding.


We’ve set you up with some samples of machine guarding training materials and even some free machine guarding training materials below.

Check ’em out.

The Machine Guarding Training e-Learning Course from Convergence Training

Check out a sample of our machine guarding e-learning course, which is part of our health and safety training library.

The Machine Guarding Training “Word Game”

Here’s a machine guarding word game for you. Enjoy playing!

Enjoy that game? You can download a copy here.

Machine Guarding Training Glossary

And here’s a fun machine guarding glossary–test yourself.



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

Here’s a simple course about the Hierarchy of Controls created by the Convergence Training blog team.



We’ve written and created a series of materials about the hierarchy of controls and related topics elsewhere on our blog. Feel free to check ’em out, we’ve listed them 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.

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 resources?

They do. Here are a few:

Has Convergence Training taken the information in the OSHA machine guarding checklist and created a free, downloadable Tasklist for companies that use the Convergence learning management system (LMS)?

Yes, here’s a Machine Guarding Tasklist for customers who already use the Convergence LMS. If you don’t currently use our LMS, this might be a good time to check it out.

What about NIOSH? Do they offer 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.



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Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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