Regulatory Requirements

If you have a power press, a brake press or a shear;

OHS regulation 12.29 – the design of safeguarding and operating controls must meet CSA Z142-M90.

There is an updated (2002) version of this standard, which should be followed instead of the 1990 version to ensure that you are current in your design. In Ontario, all presses have to conform to the current version of the standard – avoid having to upgrade in the event of a regulation change and simply follow the 2002 revision of the standard. Other ANSI standards are also referenced, which are parent documents to the CSA standard.

Here in British Columbia the general equipment and machinery safeguarding requirement starts in section 12 

OHS Regulation 12.2 – a machine must have adequate safeguards
OHS Regulation 12.3 – the safeguards must be designed to meet CSA Z432-94
OHS Regulation 12.4 – the safeguards must be effective
OHS Guideline 12.3 – allows you to follow CSA Z432-04. This is a much easier version of the equipment standard to follow and we suggest this to all of our clients

If you have an industrial robot (three or more interpolated axes);

OHS Regulation 12.83 – the design, use, programming and training must meet the requirements of CSA Z432-94. There are updated versions of this standard as well.

There is a 1997 version and a 2003 version. Follow the 2003 version, which also provides a risk assessment model, which was developed by RIA and validated to meet the requirements of the 2003 CSA standard. This is an excellent standard that will help you efficiently hep you efficiently apply the requirements.


Designing Safeguards

There are numerous variations and additional requirements to the information listed here, but this is a starting point to help you understand what your guarding will need to look like;

Hydraulic, pneumatic, electric, gravity – what kind of interlock do I need?

In short… the answer is yes…  you need to incorporate your safety control system isolation to control all sources of energy in the order of effectiveness stated by the hierarchy of safeguarding controls (See CSA Z432 standard for more info).

Remember that the standards don’t tell you what to safeguard, only how to safeguard (with the exception of prescribed methods in the press and robotic standards). Essentially, the level of a safeguarding performance must equal the level of risk faced as defined in the risk assessment. This is the most important document to establishing a safer work environment within the context of safeguarding of machinery.

Barrier fences

The standards basically state that if you can reach it, it’s a problem. If you don’t need to access the hazardous area, install fixed guards. If you do need to access the area, install interlocked guards.

The basic requirement of a fixed guard is that it is a minimum of 1800mm high from the walking surface to the top of the guard, and a maximum of 150mm from the walking surface to the bottom of the guard. There are additional requirements based on the height of the hazard and the distance from the operator. These guidelines may not meet the additional requirements. With the guards in place, can you reach the hazard? If so, the additional requirements likely apply.

Obtaining CSA standards

Visit to purchase CSA standards – they’re available for download in .PDF format online or can be delivered in hard copy via mail. Also, CSA standards can be viewed online for free at This will allow viewing only, but is very handy to reference standards by the OHS regulations in each province.