Guarding of bridge saws and other machinery

Working close to moving and rotating machinery or where parts may be ejected is inherently unsafe and there is a foreseeable risk of being crushed, cut, entangled or struck. This risk must be managed by undertaking a suitable risk assessment and implementing and enforcing the necessary control measures.

It is foreseeable that an operator may be in close proximity to the machine. The use of perimeter fences and interlocked gates would prevent inadvertent access and the operator from working in close proximity to the machinery.

Fixed guards alone might not be feasible as access is required for loading and unloading the stone. The following would all offer a high standard of protection:

  • a perimeter fence and interlocked guards, such as manually-actuated sliding access gates. The interlocked guards must be fitted with a locking device so that the guard remains closed and locked until any risk of injury from the hazardous machine has passed, to allow for the rundown time of the saw blade
  • Electro-sensitive protective equipment eg light guards at the front of the enclosure in conjunction with a braking system to stop the movement before access to dangerous parts can be reached or the saw head should immediately return to a home position with a local guarding enclosure
  • local retracting guards around the circular saw blade and pressure sensitive edges on the saw head and traversing table but this would have to be in conjunction with fast stopping times of the head and saw blade

Use fixed and interlocking guards or safety devices providing equivalent protection at automatic and CNC machines to ensure all dangerous movements, not only the saw blade, are guarded.

Guards could be extended to serve as noise enclosures. LEV may be integral with the guard where appropriate.

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Updated: 2023-04-24