safetymom logo



Certified Health & Safety Consultant Canadian Red Cross Canadian Society of Safety Engineering
  • Online and Computer Based Training

Machine Guarding – Machine Guard Safety Course

More Info


safety mom online course - MACHINE GUARDING

Machinery comes in many shapes and sizes, which means it can present many different types of hazards.

Each year, thousands of employees across the country are injured by the machines they are most familiar with and believe are safe. In fact, OSHA estimates that lack of machine guarding is the second most frequent safety violation in industry today.

This online Machine Guard Safety course uses a powerful combination of audio, full-motion video, text, and colourful graphics to help employees understand the dangers of working with machinery. It’s divided into topic-based lessons so learners can easily understand and retain information on how risks can be minimized by proper installation and use of safety guards and devices.


  • Basic machine operations
  • Fixed guards
  • Adjustable and self-adjusting guards
  • Interlock devices
  • The drive train and perimeter guards
  • “Drop probe” devices
  • Restrain and pullback devices
  • Adjustment, inspection, and maintenance of safety guards
  • And more!


Approximately 45 minutes


Testing conducted in this online Machine Guard Safety course is designed to reinforce the information presented. A mark of 80% must be achieved in order to receive a certificate of completion. Participants are able to repeat the course twice if the pass mark is not achieved.


Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available to download and print.


You must check out our latest online courses here.

Machine Guarding Types

Machine guarding involves using protective devices to ensure safety when operating machinery. Here are some common types of machine guards:

Fixed Guards

These are permanent parts of a machine. They don’t move and are bolted or welded in place to cover dangerous areas.

Interlocked Guards

When this guard is opened or removed, the machine automatically shuts off or won’t start until the guard is put back in place. This helps prevent accidents.

Adjustable Guards

These guards can be adjusted or moved to accommodate different sizes of material you are working with. They provide flexibility while still offering protection.

Self-Adjusting Guards

These guards automatically adjust to fit the size of the material entering the machine. This ensures that the opening is only as big as necessary to allow the material through and no more, minimizing the hazard.

Each type of guard is designed to offer protection from different kinds of hazards and to fit various types of machinery. Proper use of machine guards is crucial for safety in the workplace.

Standards for Machine Guarding

Machine guarding standards are crucial for ensuring workplace safety and preventing injuries. National safety organizations and regulatory bodies often set these standards.

Here are some key standards and guidelines related to machine guarding:

  1. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Standards:
    • 29 CFR 1910.212 – General requirements for all machines, outlining the necessity for guarding to protect operators and other employees from hazards.
    • 29 CFR 1910.213 – Specific provisions for woodworking machinery.
    • 29 CFR 1910.215 – Abrasive wheel machinery guarding.
    • 29 CFR 1910.217 – Mechanical power presses.
  2. ANSI (American National Standards Institute):
    • ANSI B11 Series – This series of standards applies to various types of machinery and provides detailed guidance on how to guard machines to protect operators and enhance safety properly.
  3. ISO (International Organization for Standardization):
    • ISO 12100 – General principles for the design of machinery and the integration of safety measures, including guarding.
    • ISO 14120 – This standard focuses on the safety requirements for the design and construction of fixed and movable guards.
  4. CE Marking (European Conformity):
    • Machines sold in or imported into the European Union must comply with the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC), which includes requirements for machine guarding to ensure safety.

These standards generally cover aspects such as guard design, construction, and placement, the materials from which guards should be made, and maintenance and inspection routines. Compliance with these standards helps ensure that machinery is as safe as possible for users and that the risk of accidents is minimized.

Machine Guarding Requirements

Machine guarding requirements are designed to protect workers from hazards posed by operating machinery, primarily to prevent injuries such as amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and even fatalities.

Here’s a breakdown of key requirements typically mandated by safety regulations such as those from OSHA:

  1. Proper Guarding: All machines that pose a risk of injury must be equipped with appropriate guards. Guards must be affixed to the machine where possible and secured elsewhere if direct attachment interferes with machine function.
  2. Point of Operation: The point where work is performed on the material, such as cutting, shaping, or boring, must be guarded to prevent the operator’s hands or other body parts from making contact with dangerous moving parts.
  3. Ingress and Egress: Guards must not impede an operator’s ability to perform the work necessary for the machine, nor should they make it difficult to escape in an emergency.
  4. Types of Guards: Depending on the machine and the specific hazards, various types of guards, such as fixed, interlocked, adjustable, or self-adjusting guards, must be used.
  5. Additional Safety Devices: In addition to mechanical guards, machines may also need to be equipped with additional safety devices, such as presence-sensing devices, pullback or restraint devices, safety trip controls, two-hand controls, or gates.
  6. Maintenance and Inspection: Guards and safety devices should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they are in good working order and continue to offer protection. This includes checking for tampering or removal of guards.
  7. Employee Training: Workers should be trained on the dangers of specific machinery, how guards protect them, what to do if they find guards are damaged or missing, and the safe operation of machinery.
  8. Management of Change: When modifications to machinery or changes in production processes occur, guarding needs to be reassessed to ensure continued safety.

Compliance with these requirements helps significantly reduce the risk of injury and create a safer working environment. To maximize their effectiveness, these guidelines must be integrated with comprehensive safety policies and ongoing training.