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Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Topics


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Looking for toolbox talks machine guarding topics? Well, here are 3 that you’re sure to appreciate. Feel free to copy and paste these messages below and read at your next toolbox meeting. As always, we like to remind readers to customize our general messages so they are more specific to your own work taking place.

Machine Safeguard Requirements

Gears and cogwheels
Here are toolbox talks machine guarding topics below.

How can you prevent lacerations and amputations? Well, one major step towards this is placing (and keeping) guards on machinery. What does this mean? Well, here’s a short breakdown to clarify:

  • If the machine has grinding, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing or cutting capabilities, they must be guarded. Doing so will help protect workers from the danger zone, which are areas that could create pinch point hazards.
  • Projections such as keys, set screws, etc. can create a hazard that isn’t guarded by the machine. These must be guarded (or at least made flush), even if they can be a nuisance sometimes. Remember, this simple act can help save fingers, hands and arms, so better safe than sorry.

Characteristics of Machine Safeguards

Prevent Contact: An effective safeguard will prevent hands, arms (or any part of a worker’s body) from coming into contact with moving parts that could be dangerous. Remember, the guard should prevent accidental contact, but also prevent workers from bypassing it intentionally as well.

Secure: Is your safeguard easy to remove? If yes, then rest assured, it will be ineffective at providing the right protection to workers. Guards should also be bolted or screwed on so that the only way they can be removed is with the use of tools. Don’t forget that guards should be made of a durable material.

Don’t Create NEW Hazards: Is your guard creating new hazards like sharp edges? Could the guard cause lacerations to those working around it? Remember, the safeguard should be installed in such a way that it doesn’t create a hazard.

No Interference: Is the guard preventing workers from performing their work comfortably? If yes, you will need to find a better safeguard option.

Allow for Safe Maintenance: All equipment will require some maintenance over time. Workers should be able to handle this work on the machinery without removing the safeguards. If this isn’t possible and you must remove the guards, please remember to follow proper lockout procedures to ensure you’re not exposed to a dangerous hazard.

To summarize, guards are on machinery for a reason – and they are meant to protect you, so you don’t get injured. Please respect guards and don’t remove them.

Machine Safeguard Reminders

Gear cutting machine safety reminders

Machinery is everywhere – and it’s been like this for years. What would we do without it? Machinery has become so important to us that it’s being improved to increase productivity, which makes production much more affordable. As great as machine are, we all need to remember that if they are misused, they can be extremely harmful. Think about it – if a machine can cut something as strong as metal, what can it do to your fingers? Eeks! These types of injuries can end your career and cause a lot of pain and suffering.

So, how can you prevent injury associated with machine use? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind each day as you conduct your work:

  1. Be alert to danger point on machines including:
    1. The point of operation: This area is where the machine work take place – where the pressing, cutting, and punching happens. These places aren’t areas where you ever want your body to be. If this happens, the force of the machine can cause a serious injury. Operation points can also create flying sparks or fragments, which is another reason why safety glasses are important.
    1. The power train: This point is where energy is transferred through moving parts (i.e. gears, shafts, belts, cables, etc.). Your body should NEVER be in these areas! If you’re working with this type of machinery and you need to do repairs, please make sure you follow all lockout/tagout procedures. Also, make sure any guards that you removed during the repair are replaced. If workers notice a missing guard on machinery, they must report it to their Supervisor immediately.
    1. Material handling equipment danger points: Maybe this equipment isn’t considered to be production machinery, but it still poses danger if used incorrectly. Their points of operation and power train can be extremely hazardous. All workers using these machines MUST BE properly trained – no exceptions.

As you work with machinery each day, please remember that as a worker you must control machines carefully. Here are some important things to remember to prevent injury during your shift:

  • Machines should always be anchored to prevent it from tipping – especially while engaged in work that creates excessive vibration or movement.
  • Don’t reach blindly into machinery. There could be energized parts that could cause injury!
  • Ensure there is adequate lighting in the area so you can see all points of operation on the machine.
  • Remove watches, rings and belt buckles away from machinery, as they could get caught up in it (and act as a source of conduction around electrical parts).
  • Make sure your hands are dry before plugging or unplugging any machinery.
  • Always follow proper lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for the job.

Please remember that mechanical hazards can cause serious injury. It’s important that you’re aware of danger zones associated with the operation of machinery, and respect those areas to prevent getting hurt on the job.

Cutting Machines: Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Safety

Machine guarding is important for safety
More toolbox talks machine guarding topics below — keep reading!

Cutting machines are very common in most workplaces. They are used to work on metal, wood or other materials. They can cut, saw, or grind. The part of the machine that shapes or removes the material is considered the point of operation. These areas should be avoided – if they can bend, shape or cut strong materials, they can do very serious damage to your body. In fact, injuries from these types of machines are generally more severe than those from powered hand tools. This is why it’s crucial to assess the potential hazards of the equipment you use. IF you find hazards, take immediate action to eliminate or mitigate them BEFORE starting the task. If you’re feeling like this may take too much time, it’s helpful to think about the consequences of engaging in risky behavior. Ask yourself what that hazard can do to your body, and if that’s something you want to experience – you probably don’t want to experience an amputation.

Injuries can happen quickly, and often result from workers getting too close to powered machinery. It may seem harmless to hold a part, remove chips or make a quick adjustment, but be aware that these simple acts can cause crushing injuries or lacerations. So, what type of safeguards can prevent these horrific injuries?

  • Operator training
  • More supervision
  • Improve procedures for working around machinery
  • More awareness of emergency stops
  • Improve operator controls
  • More lighting

Before starting any work with a machine, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I using this machine properly and in the way it was designed to be used?
  • Will I have to reach into the danger area for any reason?
  • Are the controls easy to identify and use?
  • Is there protection from accidental start-up?
  • Are guards or safety devices provided?
  • Are these guards well maintained?
  • Has proper housekeeping been conducted in the area?
  • Is there enough lighting?
  • Are there lockout procedures I need to follow?
  • Is my clothing safe to wear while operating or working around the equipment?
  • Do I need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
  • Are workers properly trained?

By taking a few moments to assess the hazards associated with work around machines, you may prevent you or your co-workers from getting injured.

Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Safety for Power Press

Image for toolbox talks machine guarding topics

Metal press machinery makes short work of punching through tough materials like steel. It’s very powerful machine, which is why it also has the potential to cause serious injuries. Power presses have many safety features including guards, barriers, and even presence sensing devices!

If you get injured with a power press machine, it will more than likely be serious, as these machines are unforgiving. So, if you operate a power press, how can you do so safely? Well, here’s a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have proper training to operate the machine.
  • Understand how to identify and use all safety controls on the machine.
  • Familiarize yourself with safety guards
  • Use the equipment properly
  • Avoid pinch points on the machine
  • Remove jammed items safely and follow procedures
  • Know how to lockout the machine if you have to do some maintenance on it.
  • Keep the work area around the machine clean.
  • Report all problems to your Supervisor.

As a Supervisor, you must be even more knowledgeable about power press machines. Make sure you’re aware of:

  • The equipment’s proper guard adjustment
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Safe operating procedures
  • Safety devices are in place and functioning properly

Please remember that power press machinery is dangerous, which is why safety devices are present. You must never try to bypass the safety guards in place – they are there to protect you. An injury from this machine is something you don’t want to experience, so think of the consequences before altering guards that are in place to keep you safe.

Need more toolbox talks? No problem! Click here for some electrical safety messages.

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