A mini-excavator at a job site developed a leak at a hydraulic fitting at the base of the cylinder that raises and lowers the boom. A subcontractor foreman at the site raised the boom to search for the leak. The foreman found and attempted to tighten the leaking fitting. When he did, the fitting separated from the base of the cylinder, releasing the hydraulic pressure that held the boom aloft. The boom fell and the bucket struck a nearby superintendent for the general contractor.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) “Top 10 for 2018” violations once again have Machine Safeguarding earning a position on the list. Machine safeguarding was the 9th most cited standard as noted in the list below:
- Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
- Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)]
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)
- Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
This is down one in the order from 2017 where Machine Safeguarding was the 8th most cited standard. OSHA 1910.212 (a)(1) states: “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 associated with those created by the point of operation, ingoing nip points, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Examples of guarding are-barrier guards, two-handed tripping devices, electronic safety devices, etc.”
So, what goes into an effective “Machine Guard”? Well before you can guard, you must first understand the risk(s) associated with a machine. Which leads us to the subject of this blog, risk assessment.