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What are some different types of safety guards?

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Quick Answer

Adjustable, interlocked, self-adjusting and fixed guards are basic types of safety guards for machinery, notes BLR. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration includes these in its guard category but adds other categories on methods of safeguarding machines: devices, feeding and ejection methods, miscellaneous aids, and location and distance.

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Full Answer

Adjustable guards protect the unused portion of a blade or a machine's point of operation while allowing for a variety of material dimensions, explains BLR. Interlocked guards stop a machine's action when the operator removes or opens the guard. Power saws commonly feature self-adjusting guards, which open just enough to feed in materials. Fixed guards are permanent attachments on band saws and power-transmission units.

In addition to mechanical guards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration describes devices such as restraints, gates, safety controls, pullbacks and sensors. Well-designed feeding and ejection mechanisms that prevent the operator from getting close to dangerous areas are a form of safeguard. Protections also include miscellaneous aids such as shields, barriers and holding tools. Proper location and distance keep operators away from the dangerous parts of machines. For instance, placing the power-transmission components of a machine against a wall and locating hazardous parts high out of reach decrease the likelihood of accidents.

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