Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled. This page contains general information on the various hazards of mechanical motion and techniques for protecting workers.

Machine guarding hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for agriculture, general industry, maritime, and construction. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to machine guarding in General Industry (29 CFR 1910)


  • Recognize the hazards of working with mechanical equipment, including where those hazards occur and the motions and actions that cause the hazards
  • Identify the purpose of machine safeguarding, safeguarding device requirements, factors that influence safeguarding methods, and the safeguarding methods used to protect you from mechanical hazards
  • Recognize your responsibilities to utilize machine safeguards properly

Course Length: 1 Hour