The Importance of Machine Guarding in Manufacturing 

Machine guarding is the use of physical barriers or other devices to protect workers from the hazardous moving parts of machinery. It is one of the most important safety measures in manufacturing, and it is essential for preventing serious injuries and fatalities.

Why machine guarding is important 

Machines are an essential part of manufacturing, but they can also be very dangerous. Moving parts can cause serious injuries, such as amputations, lacerations, and crushing injuries. Machine guarding helps to prevent these injuries by keeping workers away from hazardous moving parts. 

Benefits of machine guarding 

  • Reduced risk of injuries and fatalities: Machine guarding is the most effective way to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities from machinery. 
  • Improved worker morale and productivity: Workers feel safer and more productive when they know that they are protected from hazardous machinery. 
  • Lower costs: Machine guarding can help to reduce costs associated with workplace accidents, such as lost work time, medical expenses, and workers’ compensation claims. 
  • Compliance with regulations: Machine guarding is required by law in most jurisdictions. 


Common types of machine guards 

  • Physical barriers: Physical barriers, such as guards, fences, and enclosures, are the most common type of machine guard. 
  • Interlocking devices: Interlocking devices prevent a machine from operating until a guard is in place. 
  • Presence-sensing devices: Presence-sensing devices, such as light curtains and pressure mats, stop a machine when they detect a person in the danger zone. 


Guidelines for employers 

  • Conduct a hazard assessment: The first step is to conduct a hazard assessment to identify all the hazardous moving parts of the machinery in your workplace. 
  • Select the appropriate machine guards: Once you have identified the hazards, you need to select the appropriate machine guards to protect workers. 
  • Install and maintain machine guards properly: Machine guards must be installed and maintained properly to be effective. 
  • Train workers on machine guarding: Workers need to be trained on how to use and maintain machine guards safely. 
  • Involve workers in the machine guarding process: Workers have valuable knowledge and experience that can be helpful in selecting and installing machine guards.  
  • Regularly inspect machine guards: Machine guards should be inspected periodically, to ensure that they are in good condition and functioning properly. 
  • Update machine guards as needed: If a machine is modified or if a new hazard is identified, the machine guard should be updated accordingly. 
  • Make machine guards tamper-proof: Machine guards should be designed so that they cannot be easily removed or tampered with. 


Machine guarding is an essential safety measure in manufacturing. It helps to prevent serious injuries and fatalities from machinery. By following the safety guidelines above, employers can help to ensure that their workers are safe from the hazards of machinery. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics, which cover equipment use where applicable 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering the use of work equipment 
  • Management system to document control the policy on workplace equipment safety management 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on equipment safety management 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving work equipment both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding work equipment to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 




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