Hydro Facility Guarding

Relevant Codes and Standards

Z432.04 – Safe Guarding of Machinery

Materials and Components

6061-T6 Structural Aluminum

5052 H32 Aluminum Plate

A 3/4” – .125F Expanded Aluminum Panel

Project Brief:

Guard wicket gate actuator linkage arms located within the turbine pit of a hydro-electric facility.


  • Inner support must move relative to the outer support during operation
  • Must function as both a guard and a walkway
  • Light enough to be removed by a single person
  • Mounting points on circular surfaces


Utilizing 3D scan data and Autodesk Inventor, panels were designed from aluminum plate, expanded metal and structural angles. The concept was reviewed with plant personnel who were able to provide additional insight that improved the design.

I/O worked closely with the fabricator to ensure tooling at the shop was utilized to maximum efficiency. This allowed for significant time and cost savings as machine-ready design files were delivered for use with the fabricator’s plasma cutter.

To guard all of the equipment pinch points, 14 guards in 7 different styles were required. The guards were mounted by bolting to the outer fixed walkway which allowed them to slide along the top of the smooth inner walkway kickplate.