Machine Safety: Protection is better than a cure

Can protection be an effective strategy for machine safety or does industry need a cure for hazards to protect employees? Here's why this questions should be asked daily.

01/14/2013


Can protection be an effective strategy for machine safety or does industry need a cure for hazards to protect employees? Is this even a fair question?

 

In my opinion it is a fair question and one that should be asked every day. Here’s why!

 

First, every potential and existing hazard needs to be identified. Secondly, every identified hazard must be evaluated, scored, mitigated to an acceptable level and documented. This is called the risk assessment process. Throughout this process for each hazard various measures are applied as individual “protections” in order to reduce the likelihood, severity and/or frequency of injury. At some point after all potential protections have been applied a determination is made that acceptable risk has been achieved. And, for this hazard, it can be absolutely be known that some risk still exists. This level of risk is called residual risk.

 

For any given machine there are typically several hazards. The first consideration for any hazard is to eliminate that hazard by “designing it out”. If you are successful at eliminating this one hazard you could possibly consider that one measure a “cure”. However, that one cure will not eliminate the other hazards on this machine. The goal is to achieve a net effect of reducing all risks/hazards on a machine using the Hierarchy of Measures shown below. This process is designed to achieve acceptable risk levels for all hazards on a machine. 

 

The Hierarchy of measures are as follows:

1.) Eliminate the hazard – design it out

2.) Isolate the hazard with hard guarding

3.) Add additional engineering, guards, devices, or layers of safety

4.) Administrative controls like – training, signage, assessments, etc.

5.) Personal protective equipment (PPE) like - goggles, gloves, outer clothing, shields, etc.

 

In conclusion, would you agree that an effective risk reduction strategy includes a combination of “protections” and “cures” for each and every hazard on a machine? An effective analogy for most of us would be air travel. Just think, if the best engineers and innovators developed a solution that eliminated tires going flat during flight, would that be a cure for all hazards of flying? Obviously – no! In fact, every day we all experience residual risk – in various forms!

 

J.B. Titus, CFSE

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.

 

Related articles:

Machine Guarding & The Hierarchy of Measures for Hazard Mitigation

Machine Safety – does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?

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

Machine Safety – consequences of not performing risk assessments!

 

 

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



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.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

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.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
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 digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
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.
click me