ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Over the last two years, more than 500 guards have been placed on machinery throughout the installation to ensure the safety of the workforce.

Maintaining those guards is a cooperative effort between the employees on the shop floor, supervisors, the Directorate of Production Engineering and the Safety Office.

Safety and DPE worked together to determine the type of guards needed for each lathe, drill press and other machining equipment throughout the installation.

According to Vince Grasser, an engineering tech in DPE, most new machining equipment comes with guards in place, but some of the depot's lathes and drills were over 50 years old and needed to have new shielding ordered to fit them or created for them.

Once all guards were in place, Safety and DPE documented which guards should be on which pieces of equipment and the proper placement of the shields.

"We created a placard which goes with each piece of equipment to show the proper guard in place on that machine," said Grasser. "That way, if the machine receives maintenance, is moved to another building or is altered in any way, the guard can be replaced properly."

Each supervisor maintains a book of equipment in their area showing the machinery and the proper placement of each guard.

"We require the supervisors to verify the guards are in place quarterly and keep a record in their Go to Resource," said John Rogers, a depot safety engineer.

Forms for the supervisors to use during the quarterly checks can be found on the Safety portal on the depot's Intranet under Go to Resource.

Copies of the images for each piece of equipment and each guard are located at the Safety Office and in DPE.

The two offices don't stop at record keeping, they strive to ensure all employees know the purpose of the guards as well as how to properly use them.

"I also have a PowerPoint presentation for new employees which details what machine guarding is," said Grasser.

"Each piece of equipment has its own set of hazards," said Rogers. "There is a job hazard analysis for each machine which should outline the hazards and the steps to take to stay safe."