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Machines General Requirements


October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

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This checklist covers machines which require guards to protect the operators and others near the machines from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding methods are barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, and electronic safety devices.

check mark symbol Questions marked with this symbol may require the help of an outside expert.

  1. Are all machines guarded to protect the operator and other people in the machine area from hazards such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1)]
  2. Is the point of operation guarded, in conformity with appropriate standards, if operation of machinery exposes individuals to injury? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(ii)]Note: In the absence of applicable specific standards, guarding shall be so designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his/her body in the danger zone during the operating cycle. Examples of cited violations include: paper cutters had no finger guards, a radial arm saw’s blade protruded beyond the edge of the cutting table during its operating cycle, bench and pedestal drills had no bit guards, and lathes had no shields.
  3. Are guards attached to the machine when possible, and if that is not possible, attached elsewhere? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(2)]
  4. If hand tools are used for placing or removing material, are they designed to be easily handled without a need to place hands in a danger zone? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(iii)]Note: Such tools are not a substitute for guarding. They can only be used as supplemental protection.
  5. Are revolving drums, barrels and containers guarded by an enclosure that is interlocked so that containers cannot revolve unless the enclosure is in place? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(4)]
  6. Are all fans less than 7 feet from the floor equipped with guards that have openings no larger than one-half (1/2) inch? [29 CFR 1910.212(a)(5)]Note: Examples of cited violations include: exhaust fan blades and floor fans were not provided with protective guards, a portable table fan had a blade guard whose openings were approximately one inch in width, and a guard was broken creating a hole approximately 4″ x 2.”
  7. Is all machinery designed for a fixed location securely anchored to prevent “walking” or “moving?” [29 CFR 1910.212(b)]
  8. Are all machines constructed, installed and maintained as to be free from excessive vibration or play? [Recommended]
  9. Are all machines and equipment requiring the presence of an operator not left unattended while in operation or still in motion? [Recommended]
  10. Are all machines provided with a power cut off switch that can be reached from the operating position? [Recommended]
  11. Is all fixed motorized machinery equipped with a magnetic-type switch designed to prevent automatic restarting of machinery when power is restored after a power failure or electrical cutoff? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(3)]
  12. Are all machine operating controls easily reachable from the standard operating position and away from any hazardous point of operation? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(4)]
  13. Are all electrically powered machines provided with a positive means for rendering the motor starting controls inoperative while repairs or tool changes are being made? [29 CFR 1910.213(b)(5)]
  14. Is your shop or lab equipped with two or more push-type emergency cut-out switches, provided at appropriate locations for each (maximum) 1000 square feet of shop floor area, for de-energizing the electrical supply to nonportable machinery. [Recommended]Note: The switch must have a clear unobstructed access of at least 36 inches. In addition, the reset of the switch must be key operated.
  15. Are all power tools and machines which generate dust connected to a dust collection system? [Recommended]
  16. check mark symbol If required in your state, are dust collections systems permitted by the appropriate state agency? [see the Air Pollution Control checklist]