Machine Safety - Hard Guarding Is Best - Right?

While hard guarding can be best for machine safety in some applications, a risk assessment will help assess which technologies should be applied to achieve tolerable risk. This can be where trouble often begins.

11/09/2010


We’ve certainly come a long way over the past fifty years regarding machine guarding. Those of us with some grey hair have witnessed the introduction of electrical, electronic, and even software based devices for machine guarding. But hard guards continue to be the base line for “some” regardless of the innovation of technology for safety applications. I recently wrote a blog titled, “Updating Minds About Machine Guarding” to address the adoption of technology issue. However, the central machine safety question still remains:

Hard Guarding Is Best - Right?

Well, quite frankly hard guarding is best some times! A risk assessment will actually help answer this question and the flow charts actually suggest that first steps are to design out known hazards and secondly to apply mechanical guards to achieve tolerable risk. At this point some may say, “job well done”! On the other hand, not so quick, because this is where trouble often begins. A complete risk assessment looks at a machine 24/7. This includes; maintenance, clean-up, set-up, adjustment, clearing, and other operations where hard guards are often removed. In these cases the risk assessment may identify intolerable hazards or risks in these other modes of operations other than production modes. To identify if “other technology” may be needed to provide tolerable guarding 24/7 for your machine a whole new concept may have just entered the room.

The elephant in the room now just may be called “Safety Culture”. Safety Culture will not be found in; industry standards, it’s not covered by the risk assessment, it’s typically not found in the safety policy manual (if there is one), and it’s not taught in the engineering class room. However, it’s what drives the answer to this machine guarding question!

Where do you think the “Safety Culture” elephant in the room comes from or if it even exists?

Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. If your browser doesn't show a comments field, click on this link and scroll down: Machine Safety blog: Hard guarding is best, right?

Also see related articles:

How To Integrate Safety

Updating Minds About Machine Guarding    

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



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.

(copy 5)

click me