Machine Safety

An ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis, operating efficiencies and cost savings, as well as all relevant safety standards, such as those from NFPA, ANSI, RIA, IEC, ISO and OSHA. About J.B. Titus.

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EN ISO 13849-1; 2006 - US Bridges Needed For Transition - Comment: Integrators, OEMs not ready

September 24, 2009


This week the issue of the EU extending EN 954-1; 1996 to 2012 is still the talk of machine safety. Some camps appear to feel comfort in the three additional years of needed time for industry to prepare for the new compliance requirements. I agree with other camps that are expressing a sense of discomfort because we believe the new EN ISO 13849-1; 2006 provides improved safety performance and machine operating efficiencies. Hence, with EN 954-1’s cessation being prolonged to 2012, we feel these needed benefits will be postponed into the future.

Here’s my wake-up call! We’ve already had three years to get ready but industry is lagging behind and I feel that suppliers are not applying enough attention to the transitional “Bridges”. Today, we’re still trying to get medium and small companies to understand the need and process to complete basic risk assessments. Most of the current tools for our segment of industry drive the hazard analysis to derive an objective category for each hazard identified. With this understood, what logical success can folks expect in getting industry to broadly step to the quantitative requirements of EN ISO 13849-1 when most of industry is still in the starting gates? We’re on opposite banks of the river!

Therefore, it’s my opinion that three additional years provide; suppliers, integrators, consultants, and manufacturers additional time to develop these missing bridges. Industry needs to transition from the objective based hazards (like Categories from EN 954-1) to the more difficult mathematically derived hazards (like Performance Levels from EN ISO 13849-1). Only training industry on the new requirements might work for 20% of industry - but what about the other 80%? They’re not ready for good reason!

Wake Up - Our Industry Needs Bridges!

Posted by J.B. Titus on September 24, 2009

COMMENT

October 2, 2009

In response to: EN ISO 13849-1; 2006 - US Bridges Needed For TransitionRoger Brodeur commented:

 

As a safety product manufacturer, I would have to agree that integrators and OEM’s are not ready in the U.S. Other than large OEM’s, my customers are generally not doing risk assessments at all. They are doing safety as they have for the last 12-15 years with the goal of always reaching category 4. They don’t even try to realize the potential savings by going to a lower category because of a fear of lawyers. Also, the end user customers specify that the OEM must do risk assessments, but they also specify category 4 for all safety! Why bother doing an assessment?

We in the supplier world are trying to educate our customers, but it’s a long time off before they will accept the European way of doing assessments and sticking by the results. 13849 will be a major paradigm shift for U.S. companies and I believe it will reduce shipments of automation from the U.S. to Europe.



For more than 30 years, J.B. Titus has advised a wide range of clients on machine functional safety solutions, including Johnson + Johnson, Siemens, General Motors, Disney, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, and Samsung Heavy Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma University in industrial management and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in marketing and finance. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and is OSHA-certified in machine guarding. Titus is also TUV-certified as a Functional Safety Expert and serves on several American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association national safety and health standards committees. Reach him at jb(at)jbtitus.com and via www.jbtitus.com.