Machine Safety: Consequences of not performing risk assessments!

If a machine shop hasn't had an incident or employee injury for 10 years, is that result of an excellent safety culture or simply great luck? Are “hope” and “lack of attention” proactive business strategies?

10/22/2012


“We run an excellent shop because we haven’t had an incident or employee injury for the past ten years!” Are statements like this the result of an excellent safety culture or simply ten years of great luck? Are “hope” or “lack of attention” proactive business strategies?

 

I would expect your answer to be – NO!

 

It basic nature that businesses don’t want incidents to occur.  And, at the same time employees don’t want to be hurt. Businesses generally, some only when confronted, don’t wish for exposure to unneeded regulation, un-scheduled machine downtime, employee injuries, costly liabilities or the cost burdens associated with these issues. Yet, in my opinion, these are some of the negative results a business can expect as consequences of avoiding the required risk assessments for their machinery operations.

 

Some of the potential liabilities of exposure (avoidable consequences) might be:

- Timing – Too many businesses still avoid the issue of compliance to the risk assessment requirement which extends to existing, new or modified equipment. The sooner the better to meet compliance requirements and avoid citations.

- Miss-applied devices – quite often safety devices are provided but are miss-applied because a hazard level was not properly assessed. For example, a Cat 4 hazard could require a control reliable solution involving a Cat 4 safety rated switch with redundant contacts. A miss-applied device in this example could include; a single standard interlock switch, safety rated devices below Cat 4, or an application which is not control reliable.

- Foreseeable misuse – a properly conducted machine guarding risk assessment will typically uncover misuse situations like; equipment malfunction, unauthorized process material, operating tooling beyond its useful life, unexpected loss of power, and reach over – under – around - or through guarding.

- Miss-applied procedure – Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is frequently misunderstood and/or not always followed as prescribed by OSHA. LOTO incidents are preventable via frequent training, documenting procedures, not permitting shortcuts, and by establishing employee penalties for non compliance.

- Unidentified modes – all modes of operation and their related tasks need to be identified in order to reveal their related hazards. Unidentified modes include; setup, cleanup and preventive maintenance.

 

Have you seen any of these potential liabilities? Can you add any additional potential consequences?

 

The advice of industry experts is to not become aware of the importance of risk assessments only after a serious incident and the resulting OSHA citation, or the legal engagement, or the sever financial expenses which fall directly to your bottom line. “Hope” is not an effective strategy – proactive engaged machine safety leadership is!  

 

Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your 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: Machine Safety: Consequences of not performing risk assessments!

 

J.B. Titus, CFSERelated articles:

OSHA – 29 CFR 1910.147, Lockout/Tagout

Machine Safety – does a risk assessment need to be updated for a minor modification to a machine?

Machine Guarding & The Hierarchy of Measures for Hazard Mitigation

Machine Safety: Is OSHA okay with my 'acceptable' risk mitigation?

 

 

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



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me