The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives employers the responsibility to provide a safe work environment to their employees. This responsibility includes ensuring safe and healthy working conditions and enforcing safety standards.
Machinery and machine guarding are frequently cited as being the most violated OSHA standards. Don’t let the same mistakes occur in your business. Machine guarding is critical for multiple reasons, such as reducing workplace injuries, keeping employees and visitors safe, and meeting OSHA requirements. Southwest Solutions believes in providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees and realizes the importance of machine guarding.
Understanding Machine Guarding Systems
Moving machine parts often have the potential to cause workplace injuries that can be extremely severe. Those injuries range from crushed fingers to burns to blindness. Machine guarding systems are your first line of defense against these injuries. They protect the machine operator and other employees in the work area from moving machine part injuries and machine hazards, such as flying chips and sparks.
Machine guarding solutions are an effective, simple way to protect employees and visitors from the dangers posed by moving machine parts and equipment. Their barriers are a strong and economical solution to protect your employees from the many risks posed by automated machinery. They are primarily found in weld cells, robotic cells, laser cutting operation areas, press brake equipment stations, and metal stamping areas.
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Businesses in the industrial market use machine guard fencing to keep employees safe, meet OSHA regulations, keep costs down, and keep visitors safe.
Benefits of Machine Guarding Systems
There are multiple reasons to use custom machine guarding in the industrial market. Not only does it keep employees safe, but it also helps the business remain OSHA compliant.
Keep Employees and Visitors Safe
Safety fencing machine guarding is used to keep employees and expensive equipment safe. All factories, warehouses, and businesses that utilize automated machines need to use machine guarding for safety purposes. Machine guarding is a simple, effective way to keep personnel from the dangers posed by automated equipment. It also doubles as a way to keep people away from malfunctioning equipment. If you have a machine down or malfunctioning, you can use machine guarding as a way to block the machine off.
The dangers of automated machines include airborne debris, fumes, smoke, heat, sparks, spray/mist/fluids, and mechanical movement. Machine guard fencing prevents these dangers from injuring an employee. Injuries can range from crushed fingers to burns to blindness.
Machine guard fencing is also necessary to keep visitors in your business safe, whether it’s students on a field trip or a visitor from another office. Prevent visitors or new personnel from unknowingly walking into an automated machinery work cell or malfunctioning machinery area with machine guarding. Machine guarding provides a physical barrier between your visitor and the possibly dangerous automated machine.
Meet OSHA Requirements
OSHA requires that employees are provided a safe work environment by their employer. OSHA has a set of standards and regulations employers must abide by to minimize hazards and health risks in the workplace. These standards include making sure employers are providing personal protective equipment and safety training to employees.
Machine guarding has its own set of standards and regulations. Southwest Solutions is dedicated to workplace safety and guarantees that all machine guarding solutions are OSHA compliant.
Four necessary OSHA regulations for machine guarding include:
OSHA 1910.212(a)(1) One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area from hazards. Examples of guarding methods used are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.
OSHA 1910.212(a)(2) Guards shall be affixed to the machine where possible and secured elsewhere if for any reason attachment to the machine is not possible. The guard shall be such that it does not offer an accident hazard in itself.
OSHA 1910.212(a)(3)(ii) Machines should have guarding at the point of operation. The guarding device should conform with any appropriate standards or, in the absence of standards, designed and constructed to prevent the operator from having any part of their body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
1910.212(a)(3)(iii) Special hand tools for placing and removing material shall permit easy handling of material without the operator placing a hand in the danger zone. Such tools should not be in place of other guarding required but can only be used to supplement the protection provided.
Keep Costs Down
Studies show that “US employers spent $48.6 billion for wage and productivity losses, medical expenses and administrative expenses for workers hurt on the job.” A different study “set the total direct and indirect cost of workplace injuries at a staggering $128 billion.” Direct costs of a workplace accident are out-of-pocket expenses like ER and hospital bills.
Overall, machine guarding will help keep your costs down. Fewer employees will be injured on the job, which will lower insurance premiums. In addition, you can keep costs down because fewer employees will be taking time off to visit the emergency room or their doctor because of work-related incidents. Your company will also be safe from costly fines from OSHA, which is an excellent benefit for the entire company.
Types of Machine Guarding Systems
There are multiple types of machine guarding systems. One of the most popular types is the woven wire machine guard system.
Woven Wire Machine Guard System
Woven and welded wire mesh machine guarding is versatile, economical, and safe. The framed welded mesh or woven wire panels bolt to posts, forming a stable barrier around dangerous equipment. In addition, this type of machine guard system is always working, unlike high-tech versions that can go down because of electronic malfunctions.
The machine guard fencing is not only OSHA compliant, but it is also easily customizable and configurable. It utilizes a wire mesh panel with multiple standard parts to meet your unique guarding and space requirements. It also comes with a wide range of options so that your machine guarding solution is what you need.
The standard physical barrier system combines a 5′ high panel and a 5′-3 1/4″ high posts
Complies with safety standards for machine guard fencing
Wall panels come in ten widths, 1′ to 10′ in one-foot increments
Doors come in options of hinged, double-hinged, and sliding doors
Posts come in a stock size of 8′-5 1/4″
Unique colors are available to match your finishes
Lift-out and removable panels are available
Barriers can come in custom heights
Weld curtains are available in a variety of colors
Sliding tunnel doors with unobstructed openings are available
A Complete Solution for Custom Machine Guarding
Southwest Solutions is dedicated to providing a complete machine guarding and safety solution to its customers.
Design and Planning Services for Machine Guarding Systems
Complete solutions include all accessories, equipment, supplies, and services necessary to provide a fully functional custom machine guarding solution. Each system is configured individually to meet the specific needs of the customer. We have professional representatives trained to ask you questions to gain the critical information needed to design the perfect system for your needs.
Our trained representatives are also knowledgeable in ADA and fire code compliance, floor load implications, and innovative layout designs. With our team’s knowledge and experience, each system we provide represents our uncompromising quality and performance standards.
Installation Services for Machine Guarding Systems
Southwest Solutions also offers installation as part of your complete machine guarding system solution.
Our team of professional installers works with the design team and service coordinators to ensure your machinery guard install is quick and efficient. We can also install around your schedule, installing your machine guarding system whenever operations are down. In addition, our installers will provide progress updates until your unique system is finished and in broom-clean condition. Backed by a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and a long list of happy clients, you can be confident your machine guarding solution will be completed quickly and efficiently.
People continue to choose Southwest Solutions Group for their projects because of our team of highly skilled, professional, and experienced installers and service technicians. Most of our installations team leaders have been with us for over ten years and are full-time employees. They have over 300 years of service combined. Every installer you will work with has been trained, screened, and selected to ensure you receive the best service that can be provided.
About Southwest Solutions
Southwest Solutions Group® is a solution-oriented business-to-business company that provides innovative efficiency systems to all types of businesses and government agencies. They are experts on solutions for the industrial sector and have a vast amount of knowledge about machine guarding.
Contact Us About Machine Guarding Solutions
Send us a message or give us a call today at 866-447-9409. Let our team of professionals help you design and install a machine guarding system that provides a complete safety solution.