• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
  • Subpart:
    1926 Subpart I
  • Subpart Title:
    Tools - Hand and Power
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    General requirements.
  • GPO Source:

Condition of tools. All hand and power tools and similar equipment, whether furnished by the employer or the employee, shall be maintained in a safe condition.



When power operated tools are designed to accommodate guards, they shall be equipped with such guards when in use.
Belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, sprockets, spindles, drums, fly wheels, chains, or other reciprocating, rotating or moving parts of equipment shall be guarded if such parts are exposed to contact by employees or otherwise create a hazard. Guarding shall meet the requirements as set forth in American National Standards Institute, B15.1-1953 (R1958), Safety Code for Mechanical Power-Transmission Apparatus.

Types of guarding. One or more methods of machine guarding shall be provided to protect the operator and other employees in the machine area 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, electronic safety devices, etc.


Point of operation guarding.

Point of operation is the area on a machine where work is actually performed upon the material being processed.
The point of operation of machines whose operation exposes an employee to injury, shall be guarded. The guarding device shall be in conformity with any appropriate standards therefor, or, in the absence of applicable specific standards, shall be so designed and constructed as to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
Special handtools for placing and removing material shall be such as to permit easy handling of material without the operator placing a hand in the danger zone. Such tools shall not be in lieu of other guarding required by this section, but can only be used to supplement protection provided.
The following are some of the machines which usually require point of operation guarding:
Guillotine cutters.
Alligator shears.

Power presses.

Milling machines.
Power saws.
Portable power tools.
Forming rolls and calenders.

Exposure of blades. When the periphery of the blades of a fan is less than 7 feet (2.128 m) above the floor or working level, the blades shall be guarded. The guard shall have openings no larger than ½ inch (1.27 cm).


Anchoring fixed machinery. Machines designed for a fixed location shall be securely anchored to prevent walking or moving.


Guarding of abrasive wheel machinery - exposure adjustment. Safety guards of the types described in paragraphs (b)(8) and (9) of this section, where the operator stands in front of the opening, shall be constructed so that the peripheral protecting member can be adjusted to the constantly decreasing diameter of the wheel. The maximum angular exposure above the horizontal plane of the wheel spindle as specified in paragraphs (b)(8) and (9) of this section shall never be exceeded, and the distance between the wheel periphery and the adjustable tongue or the end of the peripheral member at the top shall never exceed ¼ inch (0.635 cm). (See Figures I-1 through I-6.)

Figure I-1, I-2
Figure I-1, I-2,

Showing adjustable tongue giving required angle protection for all sizes of wheel used.

Figure I-3, I-4
Figure I-3, I-4,

Showing movable guard with opening small enough to give required protection for the smallest size wheel used.

Figure I-5, I-6
Figure I-5, I-6,

Showing movable guard with size of opening correct for full size wheel but too large for smaller wheel.


Bench and floor stands. The angular exposure of the grinding wheel periphery and sides for safety guards used on machines known as bench and floor stands should not exceed 90° or one-fourth of the periphery. This exposure shall begin at a point not more than 65° above the horizontal plane of the wheel spindle. (See Figures I-7 and I-8 and paragraph (b)(7) of this section.)

Figure I-7, I-8
Figure I-7, I-8

Wherever the nature of the work requires contact with the wheel below the horizontal plane of the spindle, the exposure shall not exceed 125°. (See Figures I-9 and I-10.)

Figure I-9, I-10
Figure I-9, I-10

Cylindrical grinders. The maximum angular exposure of the grinding wheel periphery and sides for safety guards used on cylindrical grinding machines shall not exceed 180°. This exposure shall begin at a point not more than 65° above the horizontal plane of the wheel spindle. (See Figures I-11 and I-12 and paragraph (b)(7) of this section.)

Figure I-11, I-12
Figure I-11, I-12

Personal protective equipment. Employees using hand and power tools and exposed to the hazard of falling, flying, abrasive, and splashing objects, or exposed to harmful dusts, fumes, mists, vapors, or gases shall be provided with the particular personal protective equipment necessary to protect them from the hazard. All personal protective equipment shall meet the requirements and be maintained according to subparts D and E of this part.




All hand-held powered platen sanders, grinders with wheels 2-inch diameter or less, routers, planers, laminate trimmers, nibblers, shears, scroll saws, and jigsaws with blade shanks one-fourth of an inch wide or less may be equipped with only a positive "on-off" control.


All hand-held powered drills, tappers, fastener drivers, horizontal, vertical, and angle grinders with wheels greater than 2 inches in diameter, disc sanders, belt sanders, reciprocating saws, saber saws, and other similar operating powered tools shall be equipped with a momentary contact "on-off" control and may have a lock-on control provided that turnoff can be accomplished by a single motion of the same finger or fingers that turn it on.

All other hand-held powered tools, such as circular saws, chain saws, and percussion tools without positive accessory holding means, shall be equipped with a constant pressure switch that will shut off the power when the pressure is released.
The requirements of this paragraph shall become effective on July 15, 1972.
Exception: This paragraph does not apply to concrete vibrators, concrete breakers, powered tampers, jack hammers, rock drills, and similar hand operated power tools.

[58 FR 35175, June 30, 1993; 61 FR 9227, March 7, 1996]