OSHA Machine Guarding Standards

Are your guards OSHA approved?

OSHA does not approve guards separate from specific guard applications. Our machine guarding products, if installed correctly, meet OSHA machine guarding standards for most applications. The only exception is underground mining, covered by a different standard. We can help ensure that the guard for your application, if properly installed, will be OSHA compliant. We have been helping companies with safety guarding since 1992.

Safety Standard for Guarding of Machinery and Mechanical Power Transmission Apparatus

The OSHA standards on general guarding of machinery and mechanical power transmission apparatus (29 CFR 1910.212 and 1910.219) are very broad and general minimum guarding standards, one of which was predicated on the 1970’s version of the ANSI/ASME B15.1 standard, which itself had undergone several revisions (with 2000 as the most recent) before transfer to another ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization. The current and most authoritative standard on the broad subject of safeguarding for machinery is ANSI B11.19-2010; this modern and significantly revised version of the B11.19-2003 standard also incorporates (and updated) the requirements of the ASME B15.1-2000 standard, which was formally withdrawn in 2011.

The ANSI B11.19-2010 standard specifies requirements for both safeguarding suppliers and users, and includes detailed requirements on general safeguarding concepts (e.g., safe distance safeguarding), guards (fixed, adjustable and interlocked), safeguarding devices, awareness barriers/signals/signs, safeguarding methods, safe work procedures, and on safeguarding inspection, maintenance and training. Nine informative annexes provide much additional and useful guidance.

Example requirements found in ANSI B11.19-2010 about guards:

  1. Material used in the construction of guards shall be of such design and strength as to protect individuals from identified hazards;
  2. Guards shall be free of sharp edges, burrs, slag welds, fasteners, or other hazards that may injure individuals when handling, removing or using the guards or equipment;
  3. Handles placed on guards shall be secured to the guard so as not to create a pinch point between the handles and the guard, frame or machine;
  4. The design and construction of the guard shall ensure that individuals cannot reach the hazard by reaching over, under, around, or through the guard;
  5. Guards shall be designed and constructed so as to ensure ease of use;
  6. The guard shall be designed and constructed to provide visibility of the hazard zone appropriate to the particular operation;
  7. Transparent guards shall provide the appropriate level of protection as determined by the risk assessment;
  8. The supplier shall provide a maintenance or replacement schedule or criteria to determine transparent guard replacement in their information for use;
  9. Interlocked guards shall be designed and constructed to meet the following additional requirements:
    1. Interlock devices used in conjunction with guards shall be specifically designed and constructed for use in safeguarding applications;
    2. Guard locking devices, when used, shall prevent the guard from being opened and shall prevent access to the hazard until the command has been given to release the guard. The risk assessment shall determine the need for a means to unlock the guard locking device or otherwise provide a means of egress from inside the safeguarded area;
    3. Interlock blocking devices, when used, shall prevent energizing the safety related circuit by securing or locking in an open position.

© Copyright 2010 by B11 Standards, Inc. (Used with permission)

ANSI B11.19-2010: Performance Criteria for Safeguarding – Standard Requirements: 7.2.6

The user shall ensure that guards are installed, maintained and operated so as to protect against:

  • Unauthorized adjustment or circumvention;
  • Hazards between the guard and the moving machine or tooling parts
Explanatory Information: E7.2.6

Guards installed in such a manner that tools are necessary for their adjustment or removal may satisfy this requirement. Examples of some types of fasteners that should not be used are:

  • slotted or Phillips head screws
  • wing nuts
  • magnets
  • latches and hasps
  • hooks and eyes.

The devices should be checked frequently for proper operation.

© Copyright 2010 by B11 Standards, Inc. (Used with permission)

Machine Guard & Cover Co.’s products are intended to meet the ANSI B11.19-2010 standards for guarding power transmission systems when installed properly. The full ANSI guarding criteria should be consulted for complete details.

The entire list of general industry regulatory standards is available at osha.gov under “regulations”, and the current version of the B11.19 standard can be obtained from the standards store at ansi.org. There is also a safety standard on conveyors and related equipment that may be useful for certain applications (ANSI/ASME B20.1-2012).

The publication from OSHA, Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations may also be helpful.

Users must make their own determination of our parts suitability for your specific use. Machine Guard & Cover Co. will replace any product with a manufacturing defect at no charge. Our liability will be limited to furnishing parts per our literature and our samples. No warranty is made for the fitness of any product for your applications. ASME, OSHA and other groups may have standards that can help you install a safe guard.