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 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...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
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 modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

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 digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me