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Stop! Is your machine safety life cycle program in place?

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.

May 10, 2011


JB Titus, CFSEFor machine safety, having a Safety Life Cycle Program in place, in my opinion, certainly sets the stage for increased compliance to OSHA regulations and consensus standards. It also helps drive a higher level of functional safety for each application by taking on a more practical approach to your safety system design.

     I believe the system designers need to be willing to implement and apply various new safety technologies and approaches to drive the resulting benefits.

     There are several approaches, models, and solutions for this approach to machine safety compliance. You can find a sample listing at the bottom of this blog. One thing consistent with each approach is that a successful Machine Safety Life Cycle program is definitely dependant on the respective Safety Culture within a company.

     An existing strong and effective Safety Culture is needed to provide the foundation for this more detailed and systematic process for machinery applications. The functional safety life cycle is defined in IEC 61508 plus many of the example models involve five or six continuous life cycle steps for the safety system:

     1) Risk Assessment & Hazard Analysis

     2) Functional Specification

     3) Design & Verification

     4) Installation & Validation

     5) Maintain & Continuous Improvement

     What are your thoughts about this life cycle approach to machine safety compliance? Is your Safety Culture already in place and are you practicing the requirements of IEC 62061 and ISO 13849-1? These standards are performance based and designers/implementers of machine safety are able to actually quantify the value of safety. However, will this deterministic approach actually reduce the cost of machine guarding by developing an improved level of safety for each safety function? What about machine sustainability?  

What’s your opinion?

     Thanks for your prior comments. Please submit additional ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Stop! Is Your Machine Safety Life Cycle Program in Place?

     Did you see the Safety Integration Webcast?

     Related articles:

How To Integrate Safety

Lifecycle Safety Engineering

Machine safety pays off

Safety Matters – Rockwell Automation

Safety Lifecycle Management – exida, Inc

Improving Manufacturing Performance through Intelligent Safety System Design

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety.”



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.