Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Templates:Machine Guarding

3 min read

The objective of this program is to design and install protective guards that will prevent injury from body contact (i.e., hands, arms, feet, legs, hair, etc.) with moving machinery parts and/or the points of operation of the machinery.

Design and install protective guards that will also prevent injury from reasonable or predictable breakage of moving component parts and from chips, sparks, cutting fluids, broken tooling or other by-products.



  • All moving equipment shall be guarded and labeled to protect employees against injury from contact with moving parts or by anyone walking into, falling, slipping, tripping or similar action. Guards provided shall prevent employees or other persons from reaching through, over, under or around the guards and coming into contact with the hazard, whether the person’s actions are inadvertent or deliberate.
  • The protective guard/device shall also prevent injury from foreseeable failure of any of the component parts and from products of machines operations such as chips, sparks, cutting fluids, broken tools or other by-products.
  • Guarding by location (i.e. moving equipment located against and protected by a wall or located over 7 feet (2.2m) above the floor, walkway, platform or workspace) is NOT an acceptable methods.
  • The Machine Guarding Self-Audit Checklist in Appendix B shall be completed for all new machines/equipment installations and there after for all existing installations on a periodic basis, but no less than annually.

Guard Design

The design of a guard shall incorporate the following characteristics. A properly designed guard shall:

  • Provide positive protection.
  • Not constitute a hazard itself.
  • Provide for safe lubrication, inspection, adjustment and repair
  • Protect against probable contingency as well as normal operation.
  • Not interfere with production.
  • Prevent all access to the danger zone during operation.
  • Preferably be an integral part of the machine.
  • Resist normal wear and shock with minimum maintenance.
  • Cause no discomfort to the worker.

The following template can be used to help your organization develop a written Machine Guarding Program. This template cannot be used as is – you must customize the template to meet the needs of your organization. We have made this template easier for you to customize by adding visual prompts that identify some areas where your input is needed. These are identified by yellow highlighted, red text in the template. You may also change any of the text in the template to meet your organization’s needs – for example, department names, job titles and listed responsibilities and procedures.

Disclaimer. This sample safety program template cannot be used as is. You must customize the template to meet the needs of your organization. HSSE WORLD does not guarantee that this template is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. We make no representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever, either express or implied, in connection with the use of this template. HSSE WORLD will not be liable for your use of the template as customized by you. All safety programs and policies, including this template and the information you supply to complete it, should be reviewed by your legal counsel and/or risk management staff.

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