I’ll bet nearly everyone reading this blog has heard someone say, “I don’t have to upgrade my machine safety to the latest technology.” Right? And, the next comment might be something like, “My shop is safe because we haven’t had an accident for umpteen years.” Are these folks wrong? Here are 5 questions to ask about machine safety.
Does management in your organization really understand that safety pays back directly to the bottom line? Do they understand that the cost of accidents goes directly to the bottom line and potentially requires several million dollars of incremental sales as an offset? One accident can result in financial chaos at least 10 ways. How?
How many times does this issue come up? An e-stop device is not a safety device! Therefore, it’s not a part of the safety related parts of a control system (SRP/CS). Then, why is an e-stop device so often confused as being part of the safety design for a machine?
Is your machine downtime sometimes a surprise? Did a component in a safety circuit fail because it simply wore out and nobody knew it was about to fail? Well, maybe help has just arrived. Has anyone heard about EN ISO 13849-1; 2008? See "4 ways to reduce surprise downtime."
All too often I hear or read about a companies’ great safety record only to read on about a major incident or accident and the devastating human and/or business impacts that occur. One central place to stay current regarding safety in general as well as specific incidents is OSHA’s twice monthly email report titled OSHA Quick Takes.
Generally speaking, industry has awakened to the term, risk assessment. Yet, many companies dealing with machine safety seem to still be wrestling with issues like; when, why, if, and how often in actually implementing robust programs.
Some companies and the machine safety folks are having difficulty meeting the new EN ISO 13849-1; 2008 requirements by the end of this year. So, my question remains, ARE WE READY? SIL (safety integrity level) and Cat (Category) are fading out; SIL and PL (Performance Level) are becoming the new basis for machine guarding and hazard mitigation.
Conventional machine safety has been challenged for the last 10 years with new technology and standards. Safety automation has led the new technology pack while NFPA 79 took the lead on the standards side. Both combined in 2002 to introduce safety PLCs, safety fieldbus, and e-stops on a safety rated bus. The latest challenge to conventional safety is...
Machine safety has more safety standards than you can imagine looking across all industries here in the U.S. On top of that add the growing presence of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Standards Organization (ISO) – and the picture seems to grow three dimensionally. How many and which of these standards does any one company...
Machine safety shifted in 2002 with the changes in NFPA 79 introducing safety PLCs and safety communication and control bus technology as solutions allowed for machine guarding, the beginning of a major paradigm shift in machine safety. See savings tally.
For machine safety, having a Safety Life Cycle Program in place sets the stage for increased compliance to OSHA regulations and consensus standards, and it helps drive a higher level of functional safety for each application.