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OSHA Regulations and
Forging Machines
29 CFR 1910.218
The OSHA regulations covering Power Hammers and Forging Machines are fairly clear and to the point. Areas that were originaly vague have been clarified. This article covers the mechanical aspects of the regulations. Other also regulations apply.
There are three areas of concern for the small forge shop.
I. Training and Inspection

1910.218(a)(2) Inspection and maintenance.
It shall be the responsibility of the employer to maintain all forge shop equipment in a condition which will insure continued safe operation. This responsibility includes:

  • 1910.218(a)(2)(i)
    Establishing periodic and regular maintenance safety checks and keeping certification records of these inspections which include the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number, or other identifier, for the forging machine which was inspected.

  • 1910.218(a)(2)(ii)
    Scheduling and recording the inspection of guards and point of operation protection devices at frequent and regular intervals. Recording of inspections shall be in the form of a certification record which includes the date the inspection was performed, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number, or other identifier, of the equipment inspected.

  • 1910.218(a)(2)(iii)
    Training personnel for the proper inspection and maintenance of forging machinery and equipment.

II. Four types of guards are required
NOTE: General Requirements For All Machines,
1910.212(a)(3)(i) Point of Operation guards
are specificaly excluded by

OSHA Directives - STD 1-12.6 - 29 CFR 1910.218 Forging Machines

1. Loose parts - 1910.218(e)(2) Board Drop Hammers
Although specificaly titled for Board Drops this section could be applied to Mechanical Hammers

  • 1910.218(e)(2)(i)
    A suitable enclosure shall be provided to prevent damaged or detached boards from falling. The board enclosure shall be securely fastened to the hammer.

  • 1910.218(e)(2)(ii)
    All major assemblies and fittings which can loosen and fall shall be properly secured in place.

2. Falling Parts 1910.218(a)(2)(iv)
All overhead parts shall be fastened or protected in such a manner that they will not fly off or fall in event of failure.

3. Operating lever (or treadle) 1910.218(b)(2)
Foot operated devices. All foot operated devices (i.e., treadles, pedals, bars, valves, and switches) shall be substantially and effectively protected from unintended operation.

4. Scale guard(s) 1910.218(a)(3)(viii) & (ix)
A scale guard of substantial construction shall be provided at the back of every press, so arranged as to stop flying scale.
NOTE: There is an exemption to this for hammers that are used from both sides and that could be extended to small hammers with universal dies and used with hand held tooling or long work that is fed through the machine. See:
OSHA Safety and Health, OSHA Standards Interpretation and Compliance Letters - Scale guard requirements for forging hammers. 02/14/1975
III. Safety Lockouts
These sections have specifics for machine types but the principals are covered elsewhere as well as in the National Electrical Code. Lockouts are required on all power operated machinery. Section 1910.218 also covers the use of wood blocks to support rams including specific dimensions (TABLE O-11).

1910.218(d)(2) Shutoff valve.
Steam hammers shall be provided with a quick closing emergency valve in the admission pipeline at a convenient location. This valve shall be closed and locked in the off position while the hammer is being adjusted, repaired, or serviced, or when the dies are being changed.

1910.218(f)(1)(i) Mechanical forging presses
The power to the press shall be locked out.

1910.218(f)(2) Hydraulic forging presses.
The hydraulic pumps and power apparatus shall be locked out.

The Documents

29 CFR 1910.218   Forging Machines
29 CFR 1910.212   General requirements for all machines
29 CFR 1910.210   Definitions
OSHA i19750214   Scale guard requirements for forging hammers
OSHA STD 1-12.6   OSHA Directives 29 CFR 1910.218 Forging Machines



Copyright © 2000 by Jock Dempsey, DEMPSEY'S FORGE