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Which Machine Guarding System Should You Choose?

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You know you have to have a machine guard – it’s required by OSHA. You know there are certain standards and procedures you have to follow. After that, you have choices. You can make your own with scrap around the shop or you can buy one. If you buy one, there comes the “cookie cutter” machine guards that take up a lot of space and barely make the cut. And then there are the customized machine guards that you can actually have a say in. Let’s take a look at your three options for a machine guard.

1. Make a Machine Guard From Shop Materials

This seems like the cheapest option. You take an experienced person and give them good or decent material that is around you. You just have basic labor and parts. Your person knows the OSHA standards and makes it perfectly in the first few tries, right? Good luck. After you make it, it has to be approved by OSHA, which they will keep on making you remake and resubmit it until it’s correct. Do you really think after all of those tries that it will end up being the cheapest option? On top of that, say goodbye to any uniformity in appearance or function. It will all depend on the material you have around and who makes it.

Still thinking about DIYing your machine guard? You might want to read this.

2. “Cookie Cutter” Machine Guards

These are also typically decently priced. These usually are already up to OSHA standards and allow for some uniformity. However, you typically have to assemble them yourself and you just have to make due with what they sent you – the standard. You have what’s the usual dimensions within their “small,” “medium,” “large,” or “extra large” categories. You have to make sure that you get the right machine guard size that won’t take up too much floor space for your aggravatingly oddly shaped machine.

Plus, if you want or need a certain locking system – have fun trying to get that. You’ll usually have to order that separately or somewhere else and install it yourself. Not only are you in charge of the floor, but now you’re a locksmith, too. With this system, you will have to make sure your locks and system are up to code for your industry, for OSHA, and for your company. Will a “cookie cutter” machine guard fit your needs? Great! If not, that’s where WireCrafters comes in.

3. Custom Machine Guards

You will get a local dealer that will come out and take measurements. The WireCrafters dealer will do a design and layout, customizing to your shop floor needs. From there, you can choose if you need a custom color, specific machine guarding requirements like cut outs and a weld cell, and even locks. We can offer a variety of options including a Interlocks and even biometrics.

You order what you want and we can provide the lock or prep it for your lock before it ships to you! The setup is simple since WireCrafters Machine Guarding system is built with simple panels and posts. If you need to expand, don’t worry, our systems are modular and can grow with you as you switch out machines throughout the years.

Wondering about OSHA standards? Don’t sweat it. WireCrafters can tailor-make a machine guarding system that meets your needs and conforms to OSHA and ANSI/RIA safety standards. (OSHA and ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012)

Choosing what type of machine guard system you should use can be a long process. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each option. However, there’s nothing like having the peace of mind of a reliable OSHA-approved system that can be customized to your needs – from the dimensions to the locks. Plus, the last thing you have time for is to deal with constant changes or complications, that’s what having a trusted partner in machine guarding like WireCrafters is all about. Contact us today to get a free design and layout quote here. Want to learn more? Check out our blogscase studies, and website.


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