Machine Safety Standards, Additional Costs?

10/02/2009


EN ISO 13849-1: 2006, in my opinion, will launch a paradigm shift that could force some businesses into financial difficulty if fully implemented in the US. Several reports have crossed my desk indicating that some machine safety standards are considering including the incremental compliance requirements of 13849-1. These incremental requirements involve engineering and analytical skills far and above the skills needed for task based risk assessments and the qualitative Category based hazard analysis process. Several Medium and Small businesses are indicating that they don’t have these incremental employee skill sets to either fully understand or implement the requirements of 13849-1. And, many companies these days don’t enjoy large profit margins allowing them to hire these additional engineering services.

So, do these smaller companies simply bypass the additional analytical steps and go directly to the highest Category hazard for their machine safety strategy? These companies can’t be forgotten simply because they spend less than the big guys! They want safety and machine guarding for their employees as much as anyone else. And, there’s a huge market out there for the development of a “Cliff Notes” version to implement these requirements without the costs for additional skills. Plus the opportunity for increased safety and bottom line improvements via the additional requirements is real for any size company. In my opinion, it would be a huge mistake for suppliers to ignore the smaller companies and only focus on the large companies who have the skill sets for compliance.

Posted by J.B. Titus on October 2, 2009



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