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OSHA Citation Machine GuardingLast year, the machine guarding standard – 29 C.F.R. § 1910.212 – was among OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited standards, moving up one spot from where it was the previous year. In fact, it earned a place in OSHA’s top 4 highest penalties assessed for 2012. In light of its increasing regularity and formidable penalties, employers should be prepared to consider 3 primary questions when facing the prospect of a machine guarding citation:

  1. Have the moving part hazards been designed out of the machine at issue?
  2. Is there employee exposure to any hazard associated with the moving parts?
  3. Have any administrative controls been implemented to limit exposure?

These questions will provide a meaningful starting point for employers to evaluate their defenses if OSHA ever shows up at the door.

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