Machine Guarding Checklist

This checklist is part of a document provided by Association partner Sentry to its policyholders. The complete product safety process guide offers tips on:

  • establishing a product safety team
  • hazard analysis
  • quality assurance
  • guarding and shielding
  • safety messages and labels
  • developing an operator’s manual
  • post-product release

To see the complete document, go to You will need your member ID and password.

Basic Machine Guarding Requirements

  • Do the provided guards or shields meet the minimum OSHA requirements and applicable ANSI or ASABE standards?
  • Do the guards prevent workers’ hands, arms, and other body parts from contacting dangerous moving parts?
  • Are the guards firmly secured and not easily removable?
  • Do the guards ensure no objects will fall into the moving parts?
  • Do the guards permit safe, comfortable, and relatively easy machine operation?
  • Can the product be lubricated without removing or circumventing the guard?
  • Is there a system for shutting down the machine before guards are removed?
  • Can the existing guards or shields be improved?

Mechanical Hazards

  • Is there a point-of-operation guard?
  • Does it keep the operator’s hands and body out of the hazardous area?
  • Is there a more practical, effective guard such as an interlocked grate or guard?
  • Is there a way to eliminate the point-of-operation hazard entirely?
  • Are there any unguarded gears, sprockets, pulleys, or flywheels on the equipment?
  • Are there exposed belts or chain drives?
  • Are there any exposed set screws, key ways, collars, etc.?
  • Are starting and stopping controls within easy reach for the operator?
  • If there is more than one operator, are separate controls provided?
  • Are guards provided for all hazardous moving parts, including all auxiliary machinery or parts?