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                        2 min read

                        Machine guarding standards in Australia

                        Machine guarding standards in Australia

                        Guarding is a critical aspect of enhancing machinery safety. In Australia, stringent standards are in place to ensure the proper design, implementation and use of machine guarding to reduce the risk of incidents and injuries. This article provides an overview of machine guarding standards in Australia, focusing on some of the most important standards and their guidelines.


                        What is a standard?

                        A standard is a document established by consensus and approved by a recognised body that provides rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. In Australia, that recognised body is Standards Australia, an independent, non-government organisation that publishes technical standards across various industries. The standards outline best practices and requirements for ensuring a safe machine and a safe working environment for those in the vicinity of machinery.


                        What are the key machine guarding standards in Australia?

                        Australia has several standards that specifically address guarding to mitigate the risks associated with machinery operation. Some of the most important standards are listed below.

                        AS/NZS 4024.1601:2014

                        Titled “Guards - General requirements for the design and construction of fixed and moveable guards”, this standard helps to ensure guards effectively prevent access to hazardous machine areas, emphasising robust design, secure fixing and integration with interlocking systems to prevent operation when guards are absent. It provides guidance on guard maintenance, inspection, ergonomics and accessibility, in order to reduce the risks that hazardous components of machines can pose to operators and bystanders.

                        AS/NZS 4024.1602-2006:2014

                        Titled “Safety of machinery, Interlocking devices associated with guards - Principles for design and selection”, provides comprehensive guidelines for the design and implementation of machine guarding systems. It outlines principles for the design of guards to prevent access to hazardous areas associated with machinery.

                        AS/NZS 4024.1603-2019

                        Titled ”Safety of machinery Design of controls, interlocks and guards - Prevention of unexpected start-up”, this standard emphasises the prevention of unexpected machine start-ups through effective guarding. It provides guidelines for the design and implementation of guards, interlocks and other protective measures to ensure machinery cannot be inadvertently activated.

                        AS/NZS 4024.1604:2019

                        This standard, “Safety of machinery - Design of controls, interlocks and guarding - Emergency stop - Principles for design” addresses the design considerations for emergency stop systems and related guarding. It provides guidelines for the design, selection and implementation of guards and protective devices to ensure the effective operation of emergency stop functions.

                        Adhering to the guidelines in the standards outlined above is essential for ensuring the effective protection of operators and other personnel from the risks posed by machinery operation, therefore reducing the associated risks of incidents and serious injuries.


                        What does this mean for me?

                        Understanding and adhering to machine guarding standards is crucial. For employers, compliance with these standards is essential for maintaining safe machines and a safe working environment. Failure to comply may result in penalties such as fines and increase the risk of incidents and injuries to workers. Therefore, employers must ensure machinery is equipped with appropriate guards as outlined in the standards. Regular inspections and maintenance of machine guarding systems are also necessary to identify and address any potential hazards or faults promptly. 

                        For employees, awareness of machine guarding standards is essential for protecting their own and others’ safety. Workers should receive adequate training on the proper use of machinery, including understanding the importance of machine guarding and how to identify potential hazards.


                        Need more help understanding machine guarding standards in Australia?

                        Ideagen Plant Assessor has a team of machinery standards experts who are on hand to help you understand your obligations when it comes to machinery guarding. Contact us today on 1300 728 852 or for further information.



                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.

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