Workers Health & Safety Centre

From Machine Guarding to Moving Machine Parts

From <i>Machine Guarding</i> to <i>Moving Machine Parts</i>

Exposed machine parts can maim and kill workers. Their control remains a serious issue in Ontario workplaces.

According to Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) statistics, between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011, MOL inspectors issued 3,986 orders related to machine guarding. More than half of these — 2,190, were violations of Section 25 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments.  Section 25 states, “An in-running nip-hazard or any part of the machine, device or thing that may endanger the safety of any worker shall be equipped with a guard or other device that prevents access to the point.”

In an effort to help workplaces better prevent machine guard incidents, the Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) takes a different approach in this new version of their three-hour Certification Hazard-Specifics training module that replaces Machine Guarding (Version 2.0). Now entitled Moving Machine Parts (Version 3.0), the new title signals an important shift in focus.  As such, participants will engage in training designed to enable them to look beyond machine guards and understand how moving machine parts expose workers to hazardous conditions.


Version 3.0 encourages participants to examine machine hazards in their workplaces. Instructors will lead discussions about the framework for a systematic approach to assessing these hazards. Participants will apply this approach to workplace examples. In the process, they will learn to look critically at moving machine parts with an eye to identifying hazards and finding solutions for adequate controls.

Version 3.0 also benefits from improved interaction and animation. Some overheads include animated graphics illustrating actions and motions of moving machine parts. Others are interactive, allowing the instructor and participants to work together to fill in answers directly onto a prepared chart.

Also worth noting, this program includes two core CHS standard elements, “The Health and Safety Policy and Program and the Joint Committee’s Involvement” and “Principals of Control.”

Changes to the Participant Manual

  • The chapter on machine hazards now includes content covering non-mechanical hazards associated with machines. Among these are exposure to electrical hazards, toxic chemicals, noise and vibration, and extreme heat.
  • Chapter two, “What Machine Hazards are in Your Workplace? How to Identify Them?” is new. 
  • The legislation section includes more detailed information about the Industrial, Health Care, Mining and Construction Regulations relating to machine safety. This section also lists applicable Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

Changes to Resource Sheets and Worksheets

  • A new resource sheet 1 is entitled “Recognizing Machine Hazards, What are they?”  It lists machine hazards by group—moving parts and non-mechanical. And it provides information resources on how to identify machine hazards and where to gather additional information from workplace resources.
  • Resource sheet 4, also new, contains examples of two Ontario Court proceedings dealing with decisions about machine safety in the workplace. Participants will revisit the first example to discuss worksheet 1. This worksheet is a whole group exercise discussing the extent of an employer’s responsibility in preventing a worker’s access to dangerous moving parts.
  • Worksheet 2 draws upon participants workplace examples to examine machine hazards and determine which controls to recommend. Participants complete the exercise in buzz groups and the whole group discusses the answers.
  • The glossary from Version 2.0 is now resource sheet 6, which includes new terms.

Other new resources and information include:

  • Resource sheet 2, a sample hazard document form
  • Resource sheet 3, a new machine hazard checklist to replace the one in the old version. It is more extensive and divides hazards into categories.
  • Resource sheet 5, entitled, “Pre-Start Health and Safety Review Information,” expands on resource sheet 3 in Version 2.0. (Now as well as the pre-start charts from the MOL Guideline for Pre-start Health and Safety Review, this version adds information explaining the when, what, and how of pre-starts.)

This module is now available for booking.