Machine Guarding

UNB Reference Number: 7814
Authorized by: J. M. Anderson, President,
Effective Date: December 1, 1978
Revised: September 2001
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To outline the hazards and regulations related to machinery.


Every person required to work on or near machinery must be protected from the following hazards:

  • direct contact with moving parts of a machine.
  • contact with the work being processed on a machine tool.
  • improper location of machinery.

Regulation One: Moving Parts

  • Wherever possible fixed guards must be installed at all "shear" points, e.g., circular and band saw blades, metal shear blades, grinding wheels, etc.
  • Guards must be installed at all inrunning nip points, e.g., chain and sprocket drives, inrunning rollers, belt drives, etc.
  • Fixed metal guards must be installed over exposed drive shaft couplings, flywheels, etc.
  • Where fixed guarding is not practical at the shear point of a machine, e.g., paper guillotine, some alternative form of guard must be provided, e.g., control switches which require both hands to activate the machine, eliminating any possibility of the hands contacting the shear point.
  • Persons required to work on or around machinery will not wear loose clothing or any other source of entanglement, e.g., neck ties, loose jewellery, etc. Long hair must be contained to avoid possible entangle-ment with any rotating shaft, spindle, gear, etc.

Regulation Two: Contact with the work being processed on a machine tool

  • Where possible, guards will be provided to prevent injury from uncontrolled material being processed on a machine tool, e.g., kickback finger guard on a circular saw.
  • Where a machine tool design precludes the use of a guard to prevent injury from uncontrolled material being processed, personal protective devices must be used, e.g., eye and face protection for use where hazards exist from flying metal, wood chips, chemical spray or hazardous rays.

Regulation Three: Location of Machinery

  • In locating a machine tool, reasonable access space must be allowed for maintenance purposes.
  • Space must also be allocated for incoming and outgoing stock.
  • Machines must be placed so that the operator is not exposed to aisle traffic.
  • Adequate lighting must be provided in all areas containing machine tools.Refer to the N.B. Occupational Health & Safety Act & Regulations for criteria on the specific location for guards.