- Safety and Health Topics
- Machine Guarding
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 OSHA standards for Agriculture, General Industry, Marine Terminals, Longshoring, and Construction.
Provides references that may aid in recognizing hazards from ineffective machine guarding.
Highlights references that provide possible solutions for machine guarding hazards.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to machine guarding.
- Protect Yourself - Amputations. OSHA QuickCard™, (2015). Discusses amputations and the best way to prevent them.
- Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Workers from Amputations (PDF). OSHA Publication 3170, (2007). Provides information to help identify and manage common amputation hazards associated with operating and using stationary equipment.
- Hazards of Operating Unguarded Stone Cutters and Splitters in Landscaping and Other Worksites. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), (January 25, 2013).
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.