Safety Guarding 101

No More Excuses: The Cost of Avoiding Machine Guarding


Jason Kerkhof

Calendar icon

February 21, 2024

Machine guarding is a cornerstone of workplace safety, designed to protect employees from hazards associated with industrial machinery. However, despite its crucial role, companies often find themselves using various excuses to avoid implementing proper machine guarding measures. In this blog, we'll dissect six common excuses and shed light on the real reasons companies should prioritize machine guarding. We'll also explore the top four reasons why investing in machine guarding is not just a safety imperative but a smart business decision.


Common Excuses for Avoiding Machine Guarding

1.      "It'll Never Happen to Me"

This classic excuse is based on the assumption that accidents only happen to others. The reality is that workplace accidents can occur at any time, and failure to implement machine guarding makes the "it'll never happen to me" mentality a dangerous gamble.

2.      "Guards Are Hard to Work With"

Some argue that machine guards are inconvenient and hinder productivity. While it's true that improperly designed guards may pose challenges, modern machine guarding solutions are designed to strike a balance between safety and efficiency.

3.      "The Law Only Applies if I Buy New Equipment"

A common misconception is that safety regulations only apply to new equipment. However, existing machinery is equally subject to safety standards, and failure to comply can result in legal consequences.

4.      "Safety Is a Luxury We Can't Afford"

Some companies perceive safety measures, including machine guarding, as a luxury rather than a necessity. The truth is that investing in safety is an essential component of sustainable business practices, and the costs of neglecting it can far outweigh the initial investment.

5.      "We Can't Be Productive If Our Machines Are Guarded"

This excuse stems from the misconception that machine guards hinder productivity. In reality, modern guarding solutions are designed to optimize both safety and efficiency, ensuring that productivity is not compromised.

6.      "We Don't Need Help"

This excuse often arises from overconfidence or a lack of awareness regarding the complexities of machine guarding. Seeking professional assistance in assessing and implementing machine guarding solutions is crucial for creating a safe work environment.


Top Four Reasons to Invest in Machine Guarding

1.      Avoiding Fines

Non-compliance with safety regulations can lead to hefty fines and penalties. Investing in proper machine guarding helps companies stay on the right side of the law and avoid unnecessary financial burdens.

2.      Preventing Injuries

Machine accidents can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. Implementing effective machine guarding reduces the risk of accidents, protecting employees and fostering a safer workplace.

3.      Lowering Medical Costs/Insurance

Workplace injuries can incur substantial medical costs and impact insurance premiums. By investing in machine guarding, companies can lower medical costs and maintain more favorable insurance rates.

4.      Staying Compliant

Adhering to safety regulations and standards is not just a legal requirement; it also establishes a company's commitment to creating a safe work environment. Staying compliant enhances the company's reputation and builds trust with employees and stakeholders.


Excuses for avoiding machine guarding may seem convenient in the short term, but the long-term consequences can be severe. By debunking these common excuses and understanding the top four reasons to invest in machine guarding, companies can prioritize safety, protect their workforce, and ensure sustainable business practices. Ultimately, the decision to invest in machine guarding is not just about compliance; it's about valuing the well-being of employees and securing the future success of the business.