Safety Guarding 101

The Different Types of Fixed Machine Guarding


Raquel Stroher

Calendar icon

November 22, 2021

Government agencies like MSHA, OSHA and CSA enforce the health and safety standards that industrial businesses must follow to stay compliant. The rules and regulations in place serve to prevent workers from sustaining injuries and experiencing fatalities. Among the many things required is machine guarding in Canada and the United States.

What Are Fixed Machine Safety Guards?

These safety devices work as a barrier to separate workers and a machine’s working parts. That prevents someone from reaching inside a dangerous area of a machine to perform maintenance or make an adjustment while it’s operating. Prior to removing the guard, the machine or machines within that guard must be turned off to be able to perform any kind of adjustment or maintenance.

For optimal workplace safety, industrial businesses need three things. First, protective devices from one of the best machine guarding companies. Second, trained employees who not only understand and respect the risks of machinery but also adhere to all safety protocols. Third, the best designed guard for each machine application.

There are other types of guards that can be used depending on the application, such as adjustable, self-adjusting, and interlocking machine safety guards. Belt Conveyor Guarding however, specializes in ergonomic, user-friendly fixed machine guarding.

Types of Fixed Machine Guarding

Barrier Guards

These machine guards are designed to enclose a parameter around rotating machine applications.  They are commonly used to guard tail sections on conveyors. All the machinery within the guard’s parameter must be turned off prior to removing any guards to access for inspection or maintenance.

Belt Conveyor Guarding provides a self-supporting barrier guard which can be set up easily with a modular bolt-together design.  There is no welding or cutting required.

Component Guards

These are machine guards which are placed on or around the individual machine, or a portion of the machine, preventing the worker from contacting the rotating hazard.  Each specific machine must be turned off prior to removing that guard for inspection or maintenance.

These can be used for machines such as v-belts, pumps, couplings, flange bearings and pillow block bearings, preventing access to their exposed pinch-points.

Flat Guards

These are a versatile machine guarding option that can be used for a variety of rotating equipment types and conveyor applications, such as along the side of a conveyor to protect workers from the Return idlers and trough rollers.

Idler Guards and Idler Baskets

Idler guards are machine guards used for return idlers where pinch-points are reachable by the workers. They are designed to protect the worker from being drawn into the return idler.

Idler baskets are used for return idlers where the pinch-point are not reachable by the worker.  These are designed to prevent the return idler from falling on workers and equipment below.

Dramatically Reduce Risks

At Belt Conveyor Guarding, we offer all of these machine safety guards and more. Give us a call for information about all our safety solutions or to get a free guarding quote.