Many people feel that if they see an exposed pinch point or a piece of equipment that poses a potential amputation hazard, they say to themselves “Oh I will just put a guard over that piece of machinery.” As many of facilities already know, it is not always as easy as that. It is a common practice for a facility to outsource the manufacturing of machine guards. This is done for multiple reasons, the most prevalent being an incomplete understanding, or lack confidence in one’s understanding, of OSHA guarding requirements, cost of proper guarding, and the time required to ensure proper guarding.
Cost and Time analyses can go hand-in-hand when talking about designing, fabricating, and installing machine guards in-house versus purchasing a pre-made guards from a company that specializes in machine guarding. While fabricating in-house does allow your employees to have a role in the safety of themselves and those around them, purchasing a guard can help keep your workforce on task with their primary job duties instead of spending hours, days, or weeks fabricating, designing, and researching guarding solutions.
I like to lean to customizing guards in-house, as I believe that employees should have a personal connection to their workplace safety, but outsourcing it could save many hours of time for your workforce.