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The Importance Of Machine Guarding

23 May 2016


Barely a week goes by without media stories of prosecutions and workplace accidents due to missing or ill fitted machine guards. Here QSC Safety Manager, Adam Willis, shares his thoughts on this worrying trend.

“In recent years, as the UK economy has picked up, so too has the workload of many manufacturing operations. Business growth is a positive thing, but with it can come a set of safety challenges as employees start to work longer hours, to tighter deadlines and operate equipment that is new or unfamiliar to them.

Repeatedly, we read reports of preventable accidents, that have incurred because machine guards are missing, have been knowingly removed or staff failed to use appropriate safe systems of work.

If your work involves machinery or equipment, please take time before operating it to ensure it is fit for purpose. Are the correct guards in place and working? Is any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided/required?  

To ensure the safety of all workers, a thorough inspection Risk Assessment (RA) and Safe Method of work (SSOW) must be carried out on all machinery, plant and equipment to ensure safe use.

If after your Risk Assessments are complete any of your equipment is not fit for purpose, it is essential you make safe before operation.

I would recommend reading the Work Equipment and Machinery [ http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/index.htm  ] section of the HSE website to anyone involved in buying, supplying or using machinery and equipment for work.

Please make time today to train and raise awareness with machine operatives of the dangers and safety standards expected. Time spent on safety today will save lives tomorrow.

Adam Willis
QSC Senior Health and safety Manager 

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