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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 6. Power Transmission Equipment, Prime Movers, Machines and Machine Parts
Article 45. Belt and Pulley Drives
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§4070. Guarding.

(a) All moving parts of belt and pulley drives located 7 feet or less above the floor or working level shall be guarded.

NOTE: For clearance between guards and belts, see Table G-1 and Figure G-2.


1. Flat or crowned step-cone pulley drives on lathes may be guarded by a bar or rod located above the contact point of the belt to prevent a worker's hand being drawn into the nip point. Lathe belts, with metallic belt fasteners or lacings, and which are shifted by hand, shall have all fasteners or lacings clinched or maintained so that there are no projections on either the surfaces or edges of the belt.

2. The following belts when operating at 250 feet per minute or less: Flat belts 1-inch or less in width; flat belts 2 inches or less in width which are free from metal lacings or fasteners; round belts 1/2-inch or less in diameter; and single strand V-belts, the width of which is 13/32-inch or less.

This exception does not include spokes, hazardous nip points, or other hazards of pulleys. Such hazards which are 7 feet or less above the floor or working level shall be guarded by nip-point belt and pulley guards.

3. In industries where there is an excessive deposit of lint (which constitutes a serious fire hazard), open bottom nip-point belt and pulley guards may be used, provided that where metallic belt fasteners or lacings are used they shall be clinched and maintained so that there are no projections on the outside face or edges of the belt.

4. Fan belt drives on motor vehicles used primarily for transportation of employees and materials.

5. Internal combustion engine fan belt drives guarded by side screens extending to the shoulder of the engine block.

6. Industrial and commercial sewing machines: See Section 4475.

(b) If the bottom of the guard is within 4 inches of the floor or supporting structures, the bottom of the guard need not be enclosed.

(c) Where a group of flat belt drives is guarded by guardrails, such drives shall be considered guarded where the distance from the vertical plane of the rail to the nearest point of any belt or pulley is not less than 15 inches nor more than 20 inches and where the distance between any two adjacent belts or pulleys does not exceed 36 inches.

(d) Horizontal overhead belts more than 7 feet above a floor, platform or other working level shall be guarded for their entire length if located over passageways or working places.

(e) American or continuous system rope drives so located that the condition of the rope (particularly the splice) cannot be constantly and conveniently observed shall be equipped with a "telltale" device (preferably electric-bell type) that will give warning when rope begins to fray.

(f) All rope drives shall be guarded as required for belt drives.

(g) If dressing is applied while the belt or rope is in motion, it shall be performed at a safe distance from the nip point.

(h) Metallic belt fasteners or lacings shall be clinched and maintained so that there are no projections on the outside face or edges of the belts.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Repealer and new section filed 10-25-74; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 74, No. 43).

2. Amendment of subsection (e) filed as procedural; effective upon filing (Register 75, No. 14).

3. New subsection (c)(3) filed 8-18-77; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 77, No. 34).

4. Amendment of subsections (a), (b), and (c) filed 4-27-79; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 79, No. 17).

5. Amendment of subsection (j) filed 7-8-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 28).

6. Amendment filed 10-9-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 44).

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