In MACHINE TOOL GUARD RISK ASSESSMENT, equipment and machinery expert witness
Kenneth Knott, Ph.D., P.E., Product Liability Dynamics, Inc., writes:
Citing official statistics for 1997, a paper by Windau 1 showed that 45% of the 189 industrial fatalities due to workers being caught in machinery in 1997 were in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, 65% of the total fatalities occurred when workers were either operating or performing general unspecified maintenance on a machine. The paper by Windau referred to above did not address the amputations, other severe injuries, or “near misses” associated with the failure or absence of effective guards.
Consensual standards relative to the safe design of machine tool guards have been published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also issued statutory regulations on this matter. Nevertheless, it is clear that accidents involving machine tool guards continue to be a significant risk to machine tool operators.