When thinking about safe access to machinery and equipment, consider the following: • who will be working on or around the machinery and equipment • people who are required to work in enclosed areas where the atmosphere could be harmful, such as pits, tanks or storage vessels • what equipment or materials need to be carried to undertake the task • where and when is access required for operation, maintenance and cleaning • how will people gain safe access (walkway, gantry, elevated work platform or ladder) • what work will be carried out during access • will people be near or exposed to an unidentified mechanical or non-mechanical hazard at the time of access • has consultation occurred with workers or contractors regarding how they intend to gain access, and what equipment and work platform or structure is best suited for the intended task.
Interlock guarding occurs when the act of moving the guard (opening, sliding or removing) to allow access, stops the action of the hazardous mechanism. Interlock guarding works by: • disconnecting the drive mechanism mechanically (e.g. applying a brake or disengaging a clutch or geared mechanism) • isolating the power source of the drive mechanism (e.g. stopping the motor) • a combination of mechanical and power disconnection.
They are assembled from a standardized type of components. These consist of mechanical elements that control the movement in various ways, such as, gear trains, transistor switches, belt or chain drives, linkages, cam and follower systems, brakes and clutches, and structural components such as frame members and fasteners.
Machinery and equipment have moving parts. The action of moving parts may have sufficient force in motion to cause injury to people. When assessing machinery and equipment for possible mechanical hazards, consider: machinery and equipment with moving parts that can be reached by people; machinery and equipment that can eject objects (parts, components, products or waste items) that may strike a person with sufficient force to cause harm; machinery and equipment with moving parts that can reach people, such as booms or mechanical appendages (arms); mobile machinery and equipment, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, earthmoving equipment, operated in areas where people may gain access.