Mass a-peel: safety guards in style

It might be commonplace for maintenance staff to make their own safety guards in a workshop on-site, but CBC’s Steve Hittmann is putting this solution on notice.

“The importance of safety guards is underrated, which is likely why their cost and construction isn’t considered as carefully as it should be,” Hittmann said.

“Safety guards are designed to cover coupling shafts and pump connections — not only to protect the application but also to protect nearby personnel from being injured by a high-speed rotating mechanical device or occasional pump leaks on an application.”

Despite the potential for incidental harm occurring when these high‑risk applications are left uncovered, safety guards are often not given the attention they deserve and are usually an afterthought.

“Typically, these are the last component added to an application, being slapped together last minute,” Hittmann said.

“Maintenance workers will craft something out of steel or inferior materials on-site to cover the coupling connections and it’s a one-off design.

“The covers are added and forgotten about, very rarely do they comply with specific guarding criteria and often incur wear and corrosion over time.”

Once the safety guards wear down and require replacement, the responsibility of building and fitting a new homemade guard falls back onto maintenance staff again.

The solution is simpler and much more cost-effective than all the above: the Rexnord Falk Orange Peel® safety guard.

As the namesake suggests, the Orange Peel is an easy to open and close, orange plastic cover for shafts and coupling connections, constructed from polyethylene, a type of plastic that is commonly used in the manufacturing of battery casings due to its corrosion-resistant properties.

“An Orange Peel® safety guard retails at the cost of an hour’s work, and we can supply them in bulk,” Hittmann said.

“Rather than have maintenance staff go into the workshop to build, and rebuild them, site managers can check the safety guard box off from their occupational health and safety list by procuring a shipment of compliant Orange Peel guards with the click of a button.”

The Orange Peels are not only economical when it comes to saving on materials, labour, and time, but also easy to install and replace, according to Hittmann.

“Choosing an appropriate safety guard for an application will depend on the size of the motor, which is set to a universal standard that is decided by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC),” he said.

“The distance from the guard to a gear motor, for example, is a certain size from the base to the centre of the application, and the Orange Peel has a ‘trim and fit’ design that makes it easy to fit and install.

“Falk has streamlined safety for heavy industry with such a simple, yet effective product.

“This is a valuable safety product that we are looking to bring more awareness of to our customers within the mining and quarrying segment.”

Rexnord Falk Orange Peel

Features and Benefits:

  • Trim and fit design
  • No long lead times and no custom engineering
  • Ease of installation and fitting in less than an hour
  • Save more than 50 per cent on custom alternatives
  • Hinged guard open and close quickly by ‘peeling’ in half
  • Constructed from high-impact polyethylene plastic
  • Compliant with OSHA, ASME and ANSI standards
  • 3-year warranty for full protection

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