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MACHINE GUARDINGThe common source of mechanical hazards are unguarded shafting, shaft ends, belt drives,gear train project...
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Machine Guarding, Why it is necessary? By B C Das


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It is sharing of knowledge. By Bimal Chandra Das, Rtd. AGM (Safety), Bokaro Steel Plant,/ Bokaro. Kolkata

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Machine Guarding, Why it is necessary? By B C Das

  1. 1. MACHINE GUARDINGThe common source of mechanical hazards are unguarded shafting, shaft ends, belt drives,gear train projections on rotating parts, chain and sprocket drives any exposed part ofmachine or power driven equipment which rotate rapidly or have considerable power andmay catch the worker (clothing, finger, hair) targeting him in the machine before he canfree himself. The exposed part of machine may have scissors like effect on anything caughtbetween it.The elimination of hazards from shafting, belting, gearing and other risks in movingmachines is a problem of completely guarding the hazardous condition in it. It generallyrequires that the point of hazard is substantially enclosed, screened, barricaded or otherwiseprotected so that persons can not inadvertently come in contact with danger point.Wherever there is a possibility that persons may come in contact with the dangerouslymoving mechanical parts it is necessary to isolate the point of hazard by safely enclosingthem or by screening them off so that workers can not come in dangerous proximity ofthem. Ordinarily, moving parts are considered a hazard if they are within a lateral reach of7 ft. or less above ground level. Guards therefore should be provided to block personnelfrom mechanical power transmission equipment.The basic requirement of machine guarding are:1. It must be sturdy to prevent damage to the guard from external sources or interference with the operation of machine. Either of these possibilities would probably result in removing the guard and not arranging to have it repaired or replaced.2. It must permit required maintenance/operation without necessitating excessive labour for dismantling and reassembling the guard or else there will be tendency to omit its installation.3. It must be rigidly mounted to prevent objectionable rattles or interference with working parts. The mounting should be strong enough not to fail when in use.4. It should be designed so that there are no detachable part which if removed and not replaced would reduce its guarding effectiveness.5. It should be easy to inspect during periodic check up program as a part of maintenance procedureBenefits1. The prime benefit of good guarding is that in many instances it improves production. As long as operators are afraid of their machine or are afraid of getting close to moving parts they cannot pay strict attention to their production responsibilities.2. Well designed and carefully maintained guards assure workers that management means what it says about accident prevention. They become more inclined to contribute to the safety effort by working safely.3. Wherever moving parts are left exposed objects may fall into them and get caught in them, damage the machine or material in process. Such damage may cause expensive shutdown and loss of production.