Machine guards are designed to keep the employee away from the point of operation or from other hazards that could cause injury. Examples include a guard on a table saw, an expanded metal guard over an air compressor belt/pulley and a fence around a robot welder. Machine guards work well when properly installed and maintained.
However, machine guards can get damaged over time through usual wear and tear or damaged by raw materials and mobile equipment such as forklifts. Equipment preventive maintenance and repair includes the guards. Guards should be periodically inspected for wear and tear, proper adjustment and damage.
Equipment operators should insect the guards just as they do other parts of the equipment. Damaged or missing guards should be repaired and/or replaced as soon as possible. Equipment should never be operated without the proper guards in place.