Machine Safety: More on shared responsibilities

Broad responsibilities of designing and building a safe machine from the supplier perspective were detailed in a November Control Engineering article by Steve Wright. Issues beyond that include additional shared responsibilities.

12/18/2012


In the November issue of Control Engineering, Steve Wright wrote a great article explaining the broad responsibilities of designing and building a safe machine. Steve is directly on point from the supplier perspective. Now, let’s take this discussion one step further.

 

I’ve often wondered, given the U.S. model for enforcement, why we write safety standards for machine design but enforce safety via OSHA who only looks at the users of machines? By default, I’ve heard several people state that machinery OEMs in the U.S. are not regulated (by OSHA) to build safe machines. It seems that OSHA will go into an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) facility and cite worker safety issues but they don’t evaluate the machine they’re manufacturing.  

 

Having said that, the reasons (in my opinion) that Steve’s article is so relevant is that OEMs need to build safe machines because:

  • Company policy
  • Industry best practices
  • It’s right to reduce points of hazard
  • Global compliance for export
  • Compliance to customer specifications
  • Potential fault in litigation

Flowchart on left shows the relatively straightforward European legal model for enforcement. On the right, the U.S. model is less straightforward. Courtesy: JB Titus & AssociatesThese are some of the points which can easily be realized by reviewing the model comparisons between Europe and the USA in the graph on the left. You can readily see that it’s considered illegal for an OEM to build an unsafe machine in Europe.

 

So, I believe the reason Steve’s article is so important here in the U.S. is for OEMs comply with the safety standards, which helps users purchasing safe machines to provide a safer place for employees to work. Additionally, OSHA’s enforcement of the user community for installed machines further helps to provide a safer environment for employees.

  

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 safety: Shared responsibility

Inside Machines: Does adopting ISO 13849-1:2006 change the U.S. model for compliance and enforcement?

Machine Safety – does OSHA reference consensus standards for compliance?

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...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
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
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

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