OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
Bookmark this page

Part 22 Safeguards

Section 312 No safeguards

Circumstances may arise during which machinery cannot accommodate or operate with its safeguards in place. Such machinery would, under normal circumstances, require the use of limited or no personal protective equipment. If the safeguards must be removed, then their absence must be compensated for by the use of personal protective equipment.

In such cases, the personal protective equipment used must offer protection that is equal or greater than that provided by the original safeguard. For example, if a guard must be removed to allow a dimensionally larger piece of material to be fed through the equipment, the personal protective equipment used must offer protection against whatever hazards are now exposed by removal of the safeguard. The hazards might require eye protection, hearing protection, limb and body protection, hand protection against cuts and abrasions, etc.

This personal protective equipment alternative is unacceptable if it is used to bypass the employer’s responsibility to provide safeguards as required by the OHS Code. The use of personal protective equipment should always be thought of as the “last resort”. Personal protective equipment should not be used as a substitute for engineering controls such as safeguards.