Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace
injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This page contains general information on the various hazards of mechanical motion and techniques for protecting workers.
Machine guarding hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, marine terminals, longshoring, and the
construction and agriculture industries.
This section highlights OSHA standards, Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), directives (instructions
for compliance officers), standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards), and national consensus standards related to machine guarding.
Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
General Industry (29
- 1910 Subpart O, Machinery and machine guarding. Includes definitions, general requirements, and different kinds of machinery requirements.
- 1910.211, Definitions
- 1910.212, General requirements for all machines
- 1910.213, Woodworking machinery requirements
- 1910.214, Cooperage machinery [Reserved]
- 1910.215, Abrasive wheel machinery
- 1910.216, Mills and calendars in the rubber and plastics industries
- 1910.217, Mechanical power presses. Includes general requirements in addition to specific requirements for construction, safeguarding, dies, inspection, maintenance, modification, operation, injury reporting, and presence sensing device initiation (PSDI).
- Appendix A, Mandatory requirements for certification/validation of safety systems for presence sensing device initiation of mechanical power presses
- Appendix B, Nonmandatory guidelines for certification/validation of safety systems for presence sensing device initiation of mechanical power presses
- Appendix C, Mandatory requirements for OSHA recognition of third-party validation organizations for the PSDI standard
- Appendix D, Nonmandatory supplementary information
- 1910.218, Forging machines
- 1910.219, Mechanical power-transmission apparatus
- 1910 Subpart R, Special industries
Marine Terminals (29
Longshoring (29 CFR 1918)
1918 Subpart I, General working conditions
- 1918.96, Maintenance and repair work in the vicinity of longshoring operations. Paragraph (e) contains general requirements for machine guarding (see also 29 CFR 1918.2, definition of "danger zone").
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
- 1926 Subpart I, Tools - Hand and power. Includes general machine guarding requirements and specific guarding requirements for different types of tools.
- 1926.300, General requirements
- 1926.301, Hand tools
- 1926.302, Power-operated hand tools
- 1926.303, Abrasive wheels and tools
- 1926.304, Woodworking tools
- 1926.305, Jacks-lever and ratchet, screw, and hydraulic
- 1926.306, Air receivers
- 1926.307, Mechanical power-transmission apparatus
Agriculture Industry (29 CFR 1928)
- 1928 Subpart D, Safety for agricultural equipment
- 1928.57, Guarding of farm field equipment, farmstead equipment, and cotton gins
- Mechanical Power -- Transmission Apparatus; Mechanical Power Presses; Telecommunications; Hydrogen. Final Rules 69:31880-31882, (2004, June 8). Corrects errors in four OSHA standards:
- The first correction deletes two references to a non existing table in the Mechanical Power-Transmission Apparatus Standard.
- The second is a correction of typographical errors in the Mechanical Power Presses Standard.
- The third correction is to a cross-reference in the Telecommunications Standard.
- The fourth correction is to a reference to a table contained in the Hazardous Materials Standard for Hydrogen.
- Notice of Availability of the Regulatory Flexibility Act Review of Presence Sensing Device Initiation for Mechanical Power Presses. Proposed Rules 69:31927-31929, (2004, June 8). OSHA has conducted a review of the Presence Sensing Device Initiation (PSDI) requirements of the Mechanical Power Presses Standard pursuant to section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and section 5 of Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review. Based on this review and public comments, OSHA has decided to update its mechanical power press standard to ANSI B.11.1-2001
- Mechanical Power Presses. Final Rules 53:8322-65, (1988, March 14). Amendment of the standard for mechanical power presses, 29 CFR 1910.217, to allow (but not require) presence sensing device initiation (PSDI) on certain types of power presses.
- Search all available Federal Registers.
- National Emphasis Program on Amputations. CPL 03-00-003, (2006, October 27). Describes policies and procedures for implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify and reduce or eliminate the workplace incidence of hazards which are causing or are likely to cause amputations.
- Guidelines for Point of Operation Guarding of Power Press Brakes. CPL 02-01-025 [CPL 2-1.25], (1997, February 14). Provides guidelines for compliance officers who determine compliance with the guarding requirements for power press brakes. Describes when guarding by "safe distance" is permitted.
Abrasive Operation Using Cutoff Wheels and Masonry Saws. STD 01-12-026 [STD 1-12.26A], (1994, September 26). Provides guidelines for violations related to guards for cutoff wheels and masonry saws.
Barriers Installed on Metal Cutting Shears. STD 01-12-025 [STD 1-12.25A], (1994, July 12). Provides guidance for applying awareness barrier safeguards as installed on metal cutting shears.
Guarding of Three-Roller Printing Ink Mills. STD 01-12-023 [STD 1-12.23A], (1994, July 12). Clarifies the guarding requirements of 29 CFR 1910.212 relative to the ingoing nip point on three-roller printing ink mills and to assure uniformity in the enforcement of the standard nationally.
- Alternative Abatement Methods of 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) and (a)(2) As Applied to the
Oil and Gas Drilling Industry. STD 01-12-028 [STD 1-12.28], (1983, February 7). Provides guidelines for the use of certain monitoring techniques to comply with 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) and (a)(2) in the oil and gas drilling industry.
- Portable Belt Sanding Machines as Covered by 29 CFR 1910.243(a)(3) and 29 CFR 1926.304(f). STD 01-13-004 [STD 1-13.4], (1981, August 5). Provides guidance to allow equitable enforcement of 29 CFR 1910.243(a)(3) and 29 CFR 1926.304(f) as they pertain to the guarding of portable belt sanders.
29 CFR 1910.212(a)(3)(ii), Point of Operation Guarding for All Machines as Applied to the Hand-Fed Engraving Presses Used in the Engraved Stationery Manufacturing Industry. STD 01-12-022 [STD 1-12.22], (1979, January 2). Provides guidance in applying point of operation guarding requirements relative to hand-fed engraving presses in the engraved stationery industry, when using the face down method of printing.
Defining Acceptable Guarding of Fan Blades. STD 01-12-001 [STD 1-12.1], (1978, October 30). Clarifies the applicability of
29 CFR 1910.212(a)(5) and directs answers to inquiries.
Reduction of Air Pressure below 30 psi for Cleaning Purposes.
STD 01-13-001 [STD 1-13.1],
(1978, October 30). Includes requirements for chip guarding.
Caution Labeling of Radial Saws: 29 CFR
STD 01-12-004 [STD
October 30). Provides guidance in the enforcement of the
Guarding for Circular Meat Cutting Saws:
29 CFR Section 1910.212(a)(3)(ii). STD 01-12-005 [STD 1-12.5], (1978, October 30).
guidance on the acceptable methods for guarding meat cutting saws.
29 CFR 1910.218 Forging Machines.
STD 01-12-006 [STD 1-12.6], (1978, October 30). Clarifies appropriate enforcement of
29 CFR 1910.218.
29 CFR 1910.217 and 29 CFR 1910.212; Applicability of Platen Presses.
STD 01-12-007 [STD 1-12.7], (1978, October 30). Provides specific clarifications on the applicability of
29 CFR 1910.217 and
29 CFR 1910.212 to platen presses.
29 CFR 1910.215(a)(4), Abrasive Wheel Machinery Work Rests.
STD 01-12-008 [STD 1-12.8], (1978, October 30). Provides clarification on the acceptable methods for the use of work rests.
CFR 1910.212 General Requirements for all Machines.
STD 01-12-009 [STD 1-12.9], (1978, October 30). Clarifies the intent of
29 CFR 1910.212 as
applied to blade guards for chain saws.
of 29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1) to Food Waste Disposal Equipment. STD
01-12-010 [STD 1-12.10], (1978, October 30).
Assures uniformity in the application of
29 CFR 1910.212 to point
of operation guarding on food waste disposal equipment.
Clarification of 29 CFR 1910.219, the Terms "Enclosed" and "Fully
Enclosed", as applying to Power Transmission Belts. STD
01-12-014 [STD 1-12.14],
(1978, October 30). Provides clarification of the application of "enclosed" and
"fully enclosed" as applying to power transmission belts, and
guarding by location.
29 CFR 1910.213(a)(4), Woodworking Machinery Requirements.
STD 01-12-015 [STD 1-12.15], (1978, October 30).
Provides guidance to the field on the applicability of
29 CFR 1910.213(a)(4) in protecting employees from automatic cut-off saws that stroke
continuously without the operator being able to control each stroke.
29 CFR 1910.213(h)(1), Radial Saw Guards. STD 01-12-017 [STD 1-12.17], (1978, October
30). Provides clarification on the applicability of
29 CFR 1910.213 as it relates to the saw mill industries.
29 CFR 1910.213(c)(l) and (h)(1), Woodworking Machinery Guarding
Requirements. STD 01-12-018 [STD 1-12.18], (1978, October 30). Specifies
requirements for hand-fed ripsaws and swing cutoff saws and radial saws.
Application 1910.212(a)(1) to Sewing Machines in the Light Apparel Manufacturing
Industries. STD 01-12-019 [STD 1-12.19], (1978, October 30). Provides a uniform means of
evaluating the nip point and moving belt hazard on light and medium duty
sewing machines such as those used in apparel manufacturing and sewing
of light weight materials.
CFR 1910.217(b)(3)(i), Mechanical Power Presses Single Stroke Mechanism
Requirements. STD 01-12-020 [STD 1-12.20], (1978, October 30).
Provides an interpretation of
29 CFR 1910.217(b)(3)(i) and guidance for field personnel for the
requirement of single stroke mechanisms on full revolution type mechanical
29 CFR 1910.217 Mechanical Power Presses, Clarifications. STD 01-12-021 [STD 1-12.21], (1978, October 30).
Provides a guide to aid in the recognition of mechanical power presses'
point of operation hazards and uniform clarifications of definitions,
guards, develop and methods of safeguarding.
Search all available directives.
Use of laser guarding systems with hydraulic press brakes. (2004,
Maximum permissible guard openings for blade guards on cooling fans. (2003, August 21).
Questions and answers about color coding machine and machine guards according to ANSI Z535.1-1990. (2003, August 19).
OSHA machine guarding standards and the ISO/IEC standards adopted under the GATT; National Emphasis Program on Amputations.
(2003, May 13).
Standards that apply to cotton gins. (2002, August 6).
Request for guidance on saws operated on "cut-climb/reverse-rotation" mode. (2002, July 12).
Flexible corrugated plastic covers for temporary use to cover live electric parts in switch and panel boxes. (2002, June 17).
Guarding/hazards of using woodcutting sawblades on a cut-off machine.
(1999, November 15).
- Multiple interpretations regarding mechanical power presses.
(1998, May 8).
Machine-guarding requirements. (1994, December 20). Includes a request for a permanent
29 CFR 1910.212(a)(1), the standard which defines OSHA's
general machine-guarding requirements.
Presence sensing devices (PSDs) for power presses. (1994, August
Applicability of the Machine Guarding and Lockout/Tagout standards to printing presses. (1993, June 14).
Printing Presses: requirements for normal production and servicing operations. (1992, September 16).
Search all available standard interpretations.
Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from
their originating organizations related to worker protection.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- ANSI B11
Subcommittees. The ANSI B11 committee is responsible for developing
machine tool safety standards. This document provides brief descriptions
of the subcommittees and the hazards they are addressing.
- B11.1-2001, Safety Requirements for Mechanical Power Presses
- B11.2-1995 (R05), Hydraulic Power Presses - Safety
Requirements for Construction, Care, and Use
- B11.3-2002, Safety Requirements for Power Press Brakes
- B11.4-2003, Safety Requirements for Shears
- B11.5-1988 (R05), Ironworkers - Safety Requirements for
Construction, Care, and Use
- B11.6-2001, Safety Requirements for Manual Turning
Machines with or without Automatic Control
- B11.7-1995 (R05), Cold Headers & Cold Formers - Safety
Requirements for Construction, Care, and Use
- B11.8-2001, Safety Requirements for Manual Milling,
Drilling, & Boring Machines with or without Automatic Control
- B11.9-1975 (R05), Safety Requirements for the
Construction, Care, and Use of Grinding Machines
- B11.10-2003, Safety Requirements for Metal Sawing Machines
- B11.11-2001, Safety Requirements for Gear and Spline
- B11.12-2005, Safety Requirements for Roll Forming & Roll
- B11.13-1992 (R98), Single and Multiple-Spindle Automatic
Bar, and Chucking Machines - Safety Requirements for Construction, Care,
- B11.14-1996, Coil Slitting Machines - Safety Requirements
for Construction, Care, and Use
- B11.15-2001, Safety Requirements for Pipe, Tube and Shape
- B11.16-2003 (MPIF #47), Safety Requirements for
Powder/Metal Compacting Presses
- B11.17-2004, Safety Requirements for Horizontal Hydraulic
- B11.18-1997, Safety Requirements for Machines and
Machinery Systems for Processing or Slitting or Non-Coiled Metal Strip,
Sheet or Plate
- B11.19-2003, Performance Criteria for Safeguarding
- B11.20-2004, Safety Requirements for Integrated
- B11.21-1997, Safety Requirements for Machine Tools Using
Lasers For Processing Materials
- B11.22-2002, Safety Requirements for Turning Centers and
Automatic Numerically Controlled Turning Machines
- B11.23-2002, Safety Requirements for Machining Centers and
Automatic Numerically Controlled Milling, Drilling and Boring Machines
- B11.24-2002, Safety Requirements for Transfer Machines
- B11.TR 1-2004, Ergonomic Guidelines for the Design,
And Use of Machine Tools
- B11.TR 2-1997, Mist Control Considerations for the Design,
And Use of Machine Tools Using Metalworking Fluids
- B11.TR 3-2000, Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction- A
Guideline to Estimate, Evaluate and Reduce Risks Associated with Machine
- B11.TR 4-2004, Selection of Programmable Electronic
Systems (PES/PLC) for Machine Tools
- B11.TR5-200X, Sound Level Measurement Guidelines (not an
approved document; in development)
- B11.TR6-200X, Control Reliable Circuits and Servo Drive
The following references aid in recognizing hazards from ineffective machine guarding.
The following references provide possible solutions for machine guarding hazards.
Guarding. OSHA eTool. Focuses on recognizing and controlling common amputation hazards associated with the operation and use of certain types of machines.
Equipment and Protecting Workers from Amputations. OSHA Publication 3170-02R,
(2007). Also available as a 1 MB
60 pages. Provides information to help identify and
manage common amputation hazards associated with operating and using
Preventing Scalping and Other Severe Injuries from Farm Machinery.
US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No.
94-105, (1994, June). Describes five cases of persons who were scalped when
their hair became entangled around the inadequately guarded rotating
drivelines or shafts of farm machinery driven by power take-offs (PTOs).
and Techniques of Machine Safeguarding. OSHA Publication 3067, (Revised 1992). Covers nearly all aspects of machine guarding, and
includes chapters on safeguarding,
maintenance and repair, and an evaluation
A Guide for Protecting Workers from Woodworking Hazards. OSHA Publication 3157, (1999).
Also available as a 554 KB
74 pages. Provides a general, non-exhaustive overview of woodworking standard
- OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (1999, January 20).
NIOSH Update: NIOSH Leads Evaluation of Strategic Machine Safety Guideline. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (2003, March 3). Contains a notification of a project being led by NIOSH to evaluate the effectiveness of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) voluntary guideline to prevent fatal injuries from machine contact.
Machine and Portable Tools. Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) Environment, Safety, and Health Manual (Chapter 25), (2013, May 10). Provides a general discussion of machine hazards and proper safeguarding techniques.
for Safeguarding Machinery and Equipment [3 MB PDF, 107 pages]. Government of Manitoba, Workplace Safety and
Health Branch (2008, June). Includes basics of machine safeguarding, methods of machine safeguarding,
and guard construction.
Farm Machine Hazards [204 KB PDF, 3 pages]. The Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet AEX-593-91. Discusses hazards associated with farm machinery and the importance of guarding.
Related Safety and Health Topics Pages
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