Machines with moving parts and machines that could potentially send objects flying in the event of failure are dangerous and employers and employees must take proper precautions. Physical contact with or objects thrown from machines are responsible for serious injuries and death. Although safeguarding is not the only tool available to prevent incidents, it's an important one, and required by law.
Hazards associated with machinery include contact with:
Common injuries from working with and around machinery include crushing, amputations, burns, lacerations and electric shock. This document only provides guidance on preventing injuries associated with contact with moving machinery or machine parts.
The main machine movements that can cause injuries include:
To protect employees from coming into contact with these movements and other harmful conditions, safeguards need to be in place or other controls must be taken. Safeguards can be in the form of:
As an employer, you must:
While the employer is ultimately responsible for all the provisions mentioned above, the supervisor has a vital role to play in the safety of their teams. As a supervisor, you must:
As an employee, you must:
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
S.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2
DUTIES OF EMPLOYERS, OWNERS, CONTRACTORS, SUB-CONTRACTORS, SUPERVISORS, EMPLOYEES AND SUPPLIERS
Section 12 Duties of employee
12. Every employee shall
(a) comply with this Act, the regulations and any order made in accordance with this Act or the regulations;
(b) conduct himself to ensure his own health and safety and that of other persons at, in or near his place of employment;
(c) report to the employer or supervisor the existence of any hazard of which he is aware;
(d) wear or use such protective equipment as is required by regulation;
(e) consult and co-operate with the committee where one has been established or with the health and safety representative where one has been elected or designated; and
(f) co-operate with any person responsible for the enforcement of this Act and the regulations.
[S.N.B. 2001, c. 35, s. 6; 2007, c. 12, s. 3; 2019, c. 38, s. 7]
General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191
Part XVI MECHANICAL SAFETY
235. (1) An employer shall ensure that a machine is erected, installed, assembled, started, operated, used, handled, stored, stopped, serviced, tested, cleaned, adjusted, maintained, repaired and dismantled in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
(2) An employer shall ensure that the manufacturer's rated capacity or other limitations on the operation of a machine or any part of it, as set out in the manufacturer's specifications or in any relevant specifications certified by an engineer, are not exceeded.
(3) An operator of a machine shall not exceed the manufacturer's rated capacity or other limitations referred to in subsection (2).
236. An employer shall ensure that a machine is regularly inspected for defects and that a defective machine that may cause injury to an employee is removed from service until repaired.
Section 237 Starting and Stopping Machines
237. (1) An employer shall ensure that the operational controls on a machine are
(a) located and protected in such a manner as to prevent unintentional activation, and
(b) suitably identified so as to indicate the nature of each control mechanism.
(2) Where a pedal is used to activate a control device on a machine, an employer shall ensure that the pedal is guarded so that it cannot be struck accidentally and activate the machinery.
(3) An employer shall ensure that each pair of active and idler pulleys on a machine is equipped with a permanent belt shifter that has a mechanical means of preventing the belt from creeping from the idler pulley to the active pulley.
(4) Where there is not a clear view of a machine or parts of it from the control panel or operator's station and moving parts of the machine may endanger an employee when the machine is started, an employer shall ensure that
(a) an alarm system is installed, and
(b) the alarm system gives an effective warning before start-up of the machine so that an employee is made aware of the imminent start-up.
(5) An employer shall ensure that an operator of a machine has unimpeded access in the operator's immediate work area to the means of stopping the machine.
(6) An employer shall ensure that a machine not driven by an individual motor or prime mover is equipped with a clutch, idler pulley or other means of quickly disengaging the power source.
Section 241 Contact with Machines
241. (1) An employer shall ensure that sufficient space is provided around a machine in order to ensure the safety of employees while the machine is being operated or while cleaning, maintenance, adjustments or repairs to the machine are being carried out.
(2) Where an employee or the employee's clothing may come into contact with moving parts of a machine or a moving machine, the employee shall
(a) wear close fitting clothing,
(b) confine or cut head and facial hair, and
(c) not wear jewellery, rings, dangling neckwear or similar items.
Section 242 Safeguards
242. (1) Where an employee may come into contact with moving drive or idler belts, rollers, gears, driveshafts, keyways, pulleys, sprockets, chains, ropes, spindles, drums, counterweights, flywheels, couplings, pinchpoints, cutting edges or other moving parts on a machine that may be hazardous to the employee, an employer shall provide adequate safeguards to prevent such contact.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a machine that is equipped with a device that stops the machine automatically before an employee comes into contact with the parts mentioned in subsection (1).
(3) Where there is a possibility of a failure of a machine that may result in an injury to an employee from a flying object, an employer shall install a safeguard strong enough to contain or deflect any flying object.
(4) No employer or employee shall alter the design of a machine where it has been designed with a safeguard that interlocks with the machinery control so as to prevent the operation of the machine unless the safeguard is in its proper place.
(5) Where an employer has determined that an adequate safeguard for a machine cannot be provided, the employer shall ensure that a physical modification of the machine is carried out or a change in work procedure is put into place to protect employees from being exposed to the hazards associated with the lack of an adequate safeguard.
243. (1) No person shall remove or render ineffective a safeguard for a machine unless the removal or rendering ineffective is necessary to enable the cleaning, maintenance, adjustment or repair of the machine.
(2) Where a person removes or renders ineffective a safeguard for a machine, the person shall ensure that the safeguard is replaced and is functioning properly before leaving the machine or that the machine is in a zero energy state.
(3) Where a safeguard for a machine is to be removed or rendered ineffective and the machine cannot be directly controlled by the person who removes or renders ineffective the safeguard, the person shall put the machine in a zero energy state and lock out the machine in accordance with section 239 or follow the code of practice in section 240 before removing or rendering ineffective the safeguard.
[N.B. Reg. 2001-33, s. 88]
Section 244 Abrasive Wheels and Grinders
244. (1) An employer shall ensure that the maximum number of revolutions per minute
(a) of an abrasive wheel, as recommended for safe use in the manufacturer's specifications, is identified on the wheel, and
(b) of a grinder output shaft is identified on the grinder.
(2) An employer shall ensure that an abrasive wheel is
(a) checked for flaws before installation,
(b) fitted with a protective hood of sufficient strength to contain fragments of ruptured wheels, and
(c) mounted in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
(3) An employer shall ensure that a tool rest is mounted on a bench grinder as close as is safely possible to the abrasive wheel.
(4) Before applying any work to an abrasive wheel, an employee shall run the wheel at full operating speed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
(5) An employee shall not
(a) operate an abrasive wheel at a speed in excess of the speed set out in the manufacturer's specifications,
(b) do grinding on the side of an abrasive wheel unless the wheel has been designed for that purpose, or
(c) adjust a tool rest while the abrasive wheel is in motion.
Section 249 Gears and Sprockets
249. An employer shall ensure that all gears and chain-drive sprockets
(a) are completely enclosed, or
(b) where complete enclosure is not practicable,
(i) have band-type guards with flanges extending inward beyond the root of the teeth, and
(ii) are enclosed on exposed sides if there is a hazard from exposed spokes.