Safety Insights

Are Your Guards Creating Hazards? New NIOSH Safety Visual to Share at Your Mining Operation

It’s important to make sure that machine guards at your mine sites are properly designed, in order to lessen the hazardous risks they may bring.

Each year, there are more than 18,000 workdays lost* because of incidents and injuries involving machine guards.

Here’s a downloadable safety infographic about this topic from NIOSH for you to share with your miners, contractors and workers.

Remember – always be on the lookout for opportunities to “design the hazard out of the guard”. It’s a good idea to:

  • Make the guards easier to see by painting them a single bright color that contrasts with the surrounding area.
  • Improve each miner’s grip by adding handles or handholds.
  • Eliminate the need to remove guards for inspections by improving their designs.
  • Make it easy for one person to remove guards by designing small lightweight sections.

* Data based on an analysis by NIOSH researchers of all injuries reported to MSHA between 2004 and 2012 with the source of injury identified as metal covers and guards.


To see some actual photographs of mine site guards that could be considered hazardous, noncompliant or ineffective, click here to review this MSHA PowerPoint presentation.


Want to learn how Peabody is exploring new ways to speed up mine dust analysis? You’ll find that story in the February 2021 episode of CORESafety TV by going here.

Have you been thinking of implementing CORESafety as your safety and health management system, but still have questions? We’ve got the answers at

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