Safety alert 18/2009 - Wool press guarding

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

During recent workplace inspections, WorkSafe Inspectors have discovered several wool presses which have been inadequately guarded. The majority of wool presses inspected have had an emergency stop button or safety bar incorporated into the machine, designed to stop the press if actuated, but have had no means of guarding to prevent operators from entering the danger zone of the press in the first instance.

Factors to consider

  • Regulation 4.37 requires as far as practicable, all dangerous parts of plant to be guarded and the guarding to be maintained and kept in position when in use.
  • Regulation 4.29 sets out a specific guarding hierarchy for plant, respectively requiring permanently fixed physical barriers, interlocked physical barriers, physical barriers securely fixed in position or the provision of a presence sensing safeguard system.


  • Ensure that every dangerous part of the wool press is adequately guarded in accordance with Regulation 4.29 to prevent injury to operators or persons in the vicinity.
  • Operators should be trained in the operation, inspection and maintenance requirements of the wool press, including the guarding system.
  • The guarding system should be checked prior to operation of the wool press for wear and damage and to ensure that it is functioning correctly. Damaged guards must be replaced or repaired prior to use.

Further information

  • For the supply of wool press guarding, your wool press manufacturer or machinery dealer should be the first point of contact and will be in a position to supply guarding parts as necessary or provide information to help you.
  • The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health Code of practice: Safeguarding of machinery.

Further information can be obtained from WorkSafe’s website or by contacting customer service on 1300 307 877 or email

This Alert contains safety information following enquires made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident.  WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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