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Date PostedOctober 29, 2012

Unguarded Machinery Risk

Source : Tonamel

Unguarded machinery can present a risk to workers and visitors to a construction site. Although elimination of dangerous machinery as a risk is not always possible, guarding can drastically minimise the risk involved.

Introducing guarding to prevent access of workers or their extremities to dangerous parts is not only good sense, it’s the law and employers must ensure this is carried out. Every workplace using machinery needs to implement the appropriate guarding which need not interfere with the productivity of the machinery.

Injuries that are most commonly caused by unguarded machinery include lacerations or crushed fingers, lost limbs or even death.

Employers should conduct a separate risk assessment for each machine on their site and any associated system of work used with that machine.

Consultation between employers and employees is an important step to evaluate how effective control measures have been.

If an employer has determined that a hazard cannot be eliminated or replaced with a less hazardous option, their next line of defence would be to implement engineering controls.  Examples of engineering controls that can be introduced to minimise the risk of machine injury is introducing guarding, using enclosures, automating a process. Businesses who fail to do this will most likely find themselves on the receiving end of hefty fines if they are discovered.


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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