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call on the experti se of i ndi vi duals and organi zati ons that

speci ali ze i n those areas.


When i t comesto machi ne safeguardi ng, the EHS profes-
si onal needs to i denti fy contractors who are experi enced
and well-versed i n the current requi rements that apply to
thei r appli cati ons. Thi si ncludesa thorough understandi ng of
the ri sk assessment and ri sk reducti on process, aswell asa
practi cal approach to the i mplementati on and the addi ti onal
servi cesnecessary to support such a project. I n addi ti on, po-
tenti al servi ce provi dersshould be able to provi de an OSHA
300 Form log upon request to demonstrate thei r own safety
record and understandi ng of safe work procedures.
12-STEP PROCESS
A
swi th many self i mprovement processes, machi ne
safeguardi ng can be broken down i nto a 12-step
process. When di scussi ng ri sk assessment and ri sk
reducti on wi th a potenti al servi ce provi der, the EHS
professi onal should try to determi ne i f the potenti al contrac-
tor hasa detai led understandi ng of each step and can confi -
dently supply the requi red i nformati on asrequested.
1. Identify Machine/Process
More often than not, i denti fyi ng appli cati onsthat requi re
some level of safeguardi ng i sthe easi est step for the i ndi vi dual re-
sponsi ble for safety, asthese appli cati onsusually present them-
W
hi le the Occupati onal Safety and Health Admi n-
i strati ons( OSHA) fi rst standardsfor employers
i n 1971 were revoluti onary for thei r ti me, they
have si nce fallen by the waysi de wi th the i ntro-
ducti on of new manufacturi ng technologi esand best prac-
ti ces. These standards, parti cularly those i n 1910 Subpart O
( Machi nery and Machi ne Guardi ng) , have now become the
bare mi ni mum requi rementsenforceable by law.
Consensus standards, i ncludi ng those presented by the
Ameri can Nati onal StandardsI nsti tute ( ANSI ) , draw on the
experti se and experi ence of i ndi vi dualswi th a di rect i nter-
est i n the topi c covered by each publi cati on. Although
these standardsare i ntended for voluntary use, they may be
appli ed as mandatory requi rements i n commerce and i n-
dustry. Furthermore, these standardsare reaffi rmed, rewri t-
ten or wi thdrawn on a conti nual basi si n order to keep up
wi th the changesthat occur i n i ndustry.
As these consensus standards are conti nually updated
and as more standards are wri tten to address emergi ng
technologi es, the j ob of the EHS professi onal becomes
more challengi ng. I n order for the safety professi onal to ef-
fecti vely cover all topi csof employee safety, the i ndi vi dual
must become acquai nted wi th the relevant laws, appli cable
standardsand current best practi ces. For someone respon-
si ble for plant-wi de safety to become an expert i n every fi eld
i svery di ffi cult, even i mpracti cal, to say the least. Asa result,
these professi onals must learn to i denti fy thei r needs and
M ACHINE
SAFEGUARDING:
Ri sk Assessment and
Ri sk Reduct i on
How do you ensure a machine is properly
safeguarded? This 12-step process offers a thorough
risk assessment process that leads to safe and
efficient operation of industrial machinery.
by Chris Soranno
P
H
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S

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F

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0805_OH_LOPA 4/6/05 12:35 PM Page 48
i ng process. To do so, compi le a team of
i ndi vi dualswho would normally form a
safety commi ttee. Completi ng thi s step
of the process alone can help compa-
ni esmove i n the ri ght di recti on toward
formi ng a safety commi ttee. Most li kely,
the EHS professi onal always wi ll be i n-
volved, and someti mesthi sperson also
actsasthe team leader.
Obtai ni ng feedback from the operators
and mai ntenance personnel i sessenti al
for two reasons. Fi rst, these i ndi vi duals
work on and around the machi ne on a
dai ly basi s, whi ch means they are most
li kely to be able to i denti fy hazardsother-
wi se hi dden to people lessi nvolved i n the
day-to-day operati on of the machi ne. Sec-
ondly, i t i si mportant to gai n buy-i n from
these i ndi vi duals. If a safeguardi ng system
i si nstalled and the people who have to
work wi th i t are not pleased and thei r con-
cernsare not heard at the planni ng stage, i t
i spossi ble that the safeguardi ng system
wi ll not meet thei r needsor may prevent
them from conducti ng speci fi c requi red
tasks. Therefore, thei r i nput at the earli est
stages i s i mportant to reduce the li keli -
hood of i mplementi ng a safety measure
that must be bypassed to conti nue produc-
ti on. Impracti cal safeguardsmay be more
dangerousthan no safeguardsat all, based
on the fact that people who rely on safe-
guardssuddenly have a false sense of se-
curi ty once the safeguard i sbypassed or re-
moved ( whi ch i s often done wi thout
proper approval or noti fi cati on) .
M ake sure to i nvolve engi neers and
electri ci ans i n the process. These peo-
ple wi ll be able to provi de detai led i n-
formati on about the machi ne, i ncludi ng
what measures are currently i n place
and what opti ons are avai lable. When-
ever possi ble, i t i s also benefi ci al to
have producti on managers i nvolved.
Thei r buy-i n and i nvolvement help en-
sure that a practi cal safety soluti on i si m-
plemented that does not drasti cally re-
duce the output of the machi ne or the
operators. Lastly, outsi de speci ali stscan
gi ve i nsi ght i nto capabi li ti es, benefi ts
and di sadvantages regardi ng speci fi c
machi nes, devi cesor safety measures.
Y ou must adequatel y address the
concerns of all affected i ndi vi duals i n
order to avoi d i ncenti vesto defeat or ci r-
cumvent a protecti ve measure. These i n-
centi ves may i nclude the i dea that the
protecti ve measure prevents the task
from bei ng performed, i t slows down
selvesthrough acci dentsand near mi sses.
A revi ew of a faci li tysacci dent hi story wi ll
easi ly assi st i n the i denti fi cati on of haz-
ardousscenari os. Addi ti onally, common
sense also can play a large role. For exam-
ple, a hand-fed mechani cal power press
usually presentsa greater ri sk than a dri ll
press. Thi si snot to say that the dri ll press
doesnot present safety ri sks. Rather, on a
global vi ew, the power pressi smuch more
li kely to have a hi gh ri sk associ ated wi th i t,
requi ri ng i mmedi ate attenti on i n termsof
safeguardi ng. Tradi ti onally, employersad-
dressthe hi gh-ri sk machi nesfi rst, and then
move down the li ne towardsthe lower ri sk
appli cati onsunti l all of the machi nesare at
a tolerable ri sk level. To accommodate
thi s, some faci li ti esconduct ri sk assess-
mentson every machi ne present before
i mplementi ng the ri sk reducti on porti on of
the plan i n order to pri ori ti ze the plan of at-
tack. Obvi ously, thi smay not be appropri -
ate when a few machi nesexi st where acci -
dentsor near mi ssesconti nually occur.
2. Collect Proper Information
Once the machi ne or processhasbeen
i denti fi ed for a ri sk assessment, the next
step i sto collect all of the perti nent i nfor-
mati on relati ng to the appli cati on. Thi si n-
formati on i ncludesthe li mi tsof the ma-
chi ne, i ts li fecycle requi rements, any
i nformati on concerni ng energy sources
and all avai lable desi gn drawi ngs,
sketches, system descri pti ons or other
meansof establishing the nature of the ma-
chi ne. I n addi ti on, previ ousi nci dent hi s-
tory ( on the subject machine or similar ma-
chi nes) , i nformati on regardi ng damage to
health, aswell asdetailsregarding existing
or proposed system and bui ldi ng layouts,
also are i mportant to the ri sk evaluati on
process. Fi nally, a li st of the exposed peo-
ple, both the affected personnel ( including
thei r level of trai ni ng, experi ence or abi l-
i ty) , as well as others who could be ex-
posed to the hazardsof the machine where
i t can be reasonably foreseen, i suseful i n
i denti fyi ng the majori ty of the scenari os
that could lead to an accident.
3. Gather Proper Individuals
Currently, over half the statesrequi re
compani es to have safety commi ttees.
T hi s resource shoul d be used to i ts
fullest extent when i t i savai lable. I f a for-
mal safety commi ttee i s not present,
gather i nput from all i ndi vi duals who
have a vested i nterest i n the safeguard-
producti on or i nterfereswi th any other
acti vi ti esor preferencesof the user, i t i s
di ffi cult to use, personnel other than the
operator are exposed to the hazard, or i t
i snot recogni zed by personnel or i snot
accepted assui table for i tsfuncti on.
4. Observe Machine in Use
Although many machi nesare si mi lar i n
desi gn, end usersadapt machi nery to pro-
duce speci fi c parts based on customer
and market demands. Even when ma-
chi nesare si mi lar i n desi gn, they can be
easi ly altered to make a drasti c di fference
i n the level of ri sk.
For i nstance, consi der a robot appli ca-
ti on. Although the robot manufacturer
may produce thousandsof i denti cal ro-
bots, each robot can be i ncorporated i nto
a vari ety of systems, each wi th i ts own
hazards. One robot may be used for mate-
ri al handli ng, one for a weldi ng appli ca-
ti on and another i n a pai nt booth. Each of
these i denti cal robotsnow have di ffer-
ent hazards, and potenti ally di fferent ri sk
levels, based on the end effector used, the
envi ronment they are located i n and how
they are i ntegrated i nto a system wi th
other typesof machi nery. Even changi ng
a di e or the workpi ece may affect the ex-
posed hazardsof a machi ne. Because of
thi s, vi ew each machi ne asi t i sused for
each appli cati on. Also, watch how di ffer-
ent personnel work on or near the ma-
chi ne, asdi fferent techni quesmay lead to
a best safety practi ce that could be
adopted elsewhere wi thi n the company.
5. Identify Hazardous Areas
T hi s techni que, also k nown as a
task/hazard approach, createsa detai led
li st of all potenti ally hazardousscenari os.
Fi rst, the team should try to i denti fy each
and every task i magi nable duri ng the en-
ti re li fecycle of the machi ne. Thi sli st wi ll
i nclude tasksrequi red for loadi ng and un-
loadi ng, all modesof operati on, planned
and unplanned mai ntenance, tool
change, troubleshooti ng and housekeep-
i ng. I n addi ti on, the team must consi der
tasksrequi red for transporti ng, start up, i n-
stallati on, decommi ssi oni ng and even di s-
posal of the machi ne. Wi th thi sli st i n hand,
the team must then try to i denti fy every po-
tenti al hazard associ ated wi th each task.
Typesof hazardsi nclude i n-runni ng ni p
poi nts, pi nch poi nts, crushi ng, electri c
shock , release of stored energy, er-
gonomi c strai n and sli ps, tri psand falls.
0805_OH_LOPA 4/6/05 12:35 PM Page 49
The i ni ti al ri sk esti mati on should be
conducted assumi ng no safeguardsare
i nstalled. By doi ng so, the ri sk evalua-
ti on wi ll produce a ri sk level that wi ll
more accurately i denti fy the proper
safeguardi ng methods to help reduce
the ri sk of exi sti ng hazards.
7. Evaluate the Risk Level
Evaluati ng the ri sk level helps deter-
mi ne i f further safeguardi ng methods
should be appli ed to the machi ne or
process to make i t safe. The ri sk level
should be at a tolerable level, meani ng a
reasonable and acceptable level of ri sk
that a person would normally expect to
take. It i swi dely recogni zed that zero ri sk
does not exi st and cannot be attai ned.
However, a good fai th approach to ri sk as-
sessment and ri sk reducti on should
achi eve a tolerable ri sk level.
I f the level of ri sk after the fi rst ri sk es-
ti mati on i sat a tolerable level, the safety
team should conti nue on to step 12 be-
low. I f, however, the ri sk level i s too
hi gh, the team must conti nue wi th the
followi ng steps to reduce the ri sk to a
tolerable level.
6. Identify the Risk Level
After the foreseeable task/hazard pai rs
have been i denti fi ed, the next step i sto as-
si gn a ri sk level to each pai r. There are
many consensusmethodsavai lable that
prescri be systemsto assi st i n labeli ng ri sk
levels. Examplesof these are consensus
standards, such as A NSI B11. T R3,
ANSI /RI A R15.06, ANSI /PM M I B155.1,
SEMI S10-1103, MI L-STD-882D, CSA Z432,
CSA Z434 and I SO 14121 ( EN 1050) , as
well asthi rd-party software appli cati ons.
Whi chever method i schosen, the assess-
ment team should be comfortable wi th
the processand how to properly use i t.
In i denti fyi ng levelsof ri sk, most meth-
odsconsi der the mai n functi onsof a haz-
ard: severi ty of the potenti al i njury, fre-
quency of exposure to the potenti al
hazard, possi bi li ty of avoi di ng the hazard
asi t occursand li keli hood of occurrence
i n event of a fai lure. It i si mportant that the
i ndi vi dualsi nvolved i n the ri sk esti mati on
be fami li ar wi th and agree upon the defi -
ni ti onsof the cri teri a for these factors. Of-
ten, the resulti ng ri sk levelsare classi fi ed
i nto three or four categori es, rangi ng any-
where from hi gh to negli gi ble.
8. Create an Appropriate Risk
Reduction System
If each ri sk i snot i ni ti ally tolerable, pro-
tecti ve measuresneed to be appli ed that
wi ll effecti vely reduce the ri sk of a hazard
to an acceptable level. The selecti on and
i mplementati on of one or more of these
measuresshould be done i n accordance
wi th the hi erarchy shown i n Fi gure 1. Thi s
order of precedent i sbased on effecti ve-
nessand reli abi li ty. Thi shi erarchy puts
the methodsthat rely more heavi ly on hu-
man behavi or at the bottom of the scale,
as these methods are less reli able and
more di ffi cult to ensure.
When selecti ng appropri ate protecti ve
measuresfrom the hi erarchy, evaluate the
appli cati on of the soluti on agai nst factors
such asri sk-reducti on benefi t, usabi li ty,
producti vi ty, technologi cal feasi bi li ty,
economi c and ergonomi c i mpact, dura-
bi li ty and mai ntai nabi li ty.
8a. Hazard Elimination or
Substitution
Although eli mi nati on or substi tuti on of
a hazard i s by far the most effecti ve
method of reduci ng ri sk, often i t i sonly
possi ble duri ng the desi gn stagesof a ma-
chi ne or processli ne. Because of thi s, i t i s
best to i ntroduce the OEM to the ri sk as-
sessment and ri sk reducti on processat
the earli est stages of i ncepti on. M any
ti mes, however, the end user i sapplyi ng
a ri sk reducti on strategy to a machi ne
that i salready on the plant floor and eli m-
i nati ng or substi tuti ng a hazard i snot a
feasi ble opti on. In thi scase, the next best
measure i sto apply engi neeri ng controls.
8b. Engineering Controls
When i mplementi ng engi neeri ng con-
trolsto mi ti gate ri sks, select effecti ve so-
luti onsthat are adequate for the hazard.
I n addi ti on to the appropri ate technol-
ogy and devi ces, the proper control sys-
tem ( electri c, hydrauli c and pneumati c
ci rcui ts) must also be selected. Many of
the ri sk esti mati on toolsli sted above also
i nclude recommendati onsfor appropri -
ate ci rcui t reli abi li ty levels. The requi re-
ments vary sli ghtly between standards,
but common termsof ci rcui t reli abi li ty
i nclude si mple, si ngle channel, si n-
gle channel wi th moni tori ng and con-
trol reli able.
Whenever a di screpancy ari sesregard-
i ng whi ch level of protecti ve measure or
ci rcui t reli abi li ty to select, i t i s always
MOST
EFFECTIVE
LEAST
EFFECTIVE
Protective Measure
Elimination or
Substitution
Engineering
Controls
(Safeguarding
Technology /
Protective Devices)
Awareness Means
Training and
Procedures
(Administrative
Controls)
Personal Protective
Equipment
(PPE)
Examples
Eliminate human interaction in the process
Eliminate pinch points (increase
clearance)
Automated material handling (robots,
conveyors, etc.)
Barriers
Interlocks
Presence sensing devices (light curtains,
safety mats, area scanners, etc.)
Two hand control and two hand trip
devices
Lights, beacons and strobes
Computer warnings
Signs and labels
Beepers, horns and sirens
Safe work procedures
Safety equipment inspections
Training
Lockout/Tagout/Tryout
Safety glasses and face shields
Ear plugs
Gloves
Protective footwear
Respirators
Figure 1
0805_OH_LOPA 4/6/05 12:35 PM Page 50
cludi ng trai ni ng and safe work proce-
dures. When deci di ng i f safe work proce-
dures would be benefi ci al, consi der
when tasksare complex or have an i nher-
ently hi gh ri sk; when trai ni ng, ski ll or
work experi ence i sli mi ted; when tasksre-
qui re other safeguardsto be removed are
bypassed; or when requi red to augment
other safeguardi ng measures.
When creati ng trai ni ng programs, the
user should consi der all i nstructi ons,
speci fi cati ons and recommendati ons
from all appli cable suppli ers. Trai ni ng
programs should be created for opera-
tors, helpers, mai ntenance personnel, su-
pervi sorsand other i ndi vi dualswho may
be exposed to hazards of a machi ne or
process. The obj ecti ves of the trai ni ng
process should i nclude the purpose of
the safeguardi ng measures and thei r
functi on; procedures, especi ally those
deali ng wi th health and safety; hazards
presented by, capabi li ti esof and tasksas-
soci ated wi th the machi ne or process;
and safety concepts.
O nce the requi red trai ni ng has been
developed, the user should ensure that all
affected personnel are trai ned, veri fy
each person s understandi ng and pro-
vi de for thei r conti nued competency. At
thi spoi nt, each i ndi vi dual i sresponsi ble
for followi ng the trai ni ng and safety pro-
ceduresprovi ded by the user.
I t i salwaysbest to document all trai n-
i ng proceduresaswell aswhen trai ni ng
hasbeen completed by each i ndi vi dual.
After i ni ti al trai ni ng hasbeen completed,
retrai ni ng should be provi ded to assure
safe operati on aswell ascoverage of any
machi ne or processchanges. Retrai ni ng
may occur after personnel or system
changesor after an acci dent.
Another concept to be addressed at
thi sstage i ncludeslockout/tagout/tryout.
safest to choose the hi gher of the two. A
conservati ve method such as thi s i s a
good-fai th approach that wi ll help en-
sure a safer work envi ronment for your
employees.
Another concept to keep i n mi nd when
selecti ng engi neeri ng controls i s safe
mounti ng di stance. Safety devi cesthat do
not physi cally prevent i ndi vi dualsfrom
reachi ng i nto a hazard area must ei ther
stop or prevent the start of hazardousmo-
ti on ( or si tuati on) when an i ndi vi dual i s
exposed to the hazard. To do so, the de-
vi cesmust be located at a di stance from
the hazard such that hazardousmoti on
( or si tuati on) i sprevented, completed or
stopped before the i ndi vi dual can be
harmed. O SHA provi des mi ni mum re-
qui rementsfor safe mounti ng di stance of
protecti ve devi ces i n O SHA 1910.217;
however, more stri ngent and conservati ve
requi rements are provi ded i n nati onal
consensusstandards, such asANSI B11.19
and ANSI/RIA R15.06.
8c. Awareness Means
After selecti ng the most appropri ate en-
gi neeri ng controlsfor the hazard, the next
step i sto apply any awarenessmeansthat
could help reduce the level of ri sk further.
Often, thi si ncludesappropri ate si gnage as
well asvi sual and audi ble awarenessde-
vi ces. I t i sbest to mai ntai n exi sti ng prac-
ti ceswi thi n a faci li ty when applyi ng vi sual
and audi ble awarenessdevi cesso asnot
to create confli cti ng si gnals. I n other
words, mai ntai n current color codesand
audi ble si gnali ng practi ceswhenever pos-
si ble, aslong asthey are compli ant wi th
current standardsand regulati ons. Con-
si der li teracy levels, color bli ndnessand
pri mary languages of employees when
choosi ng vi sual awarenessmeasures. Ad-
di ti onally, make sure volume levelsof au-
di ble si gnalscan be heard over normal op-
erati ng noi se whi le not creati ng a potenti al
source of heari ng loss.
Awareness means should be located
where they wi ll best serve thei r i ntended
purpose. For i nstance, a si gn i nstructi ng
employeesnot to operate a machi ne wi th-
out a guard i n place i sbetter placed be-
hi nd where the guard belongs i f the si gn
i son the guard and the guard i sremoved,
the si gn may not be vi si ble.
8d. Administrative Controls
The next step toward reduci ng ri sk i sto
i mplement admi ni strati ve control, i n-
Thi smethod of controlli ng hazardousen-
ergy protectspersonnel who could be ex-
posed to the unexpected release of haz-
ardous energy. T hi s can i nclude any
uni ntended moti on, energi zati on, start-up
or release of stored energy, deli berate or
otherwi se, from the perspecti ve of the i n-
di vi duals at ri sk. Proper gui deli nes, i n-
cludi ng OSHA 1910.147 and ANSI /ASSE
Z244.1, should be followed when creat-
i ng such programs.
8e. Personal Protective Equipment
When engi neered safeguards, aware-
nessmeans, admi ni strati ve controlsor a
combi nati on thereof do not provi de an ac-
ceptable level of protecti on, authori zed i n-
di vi dualsshould be provi ded wi th appro-
pri ate personal protecti ve equi pment
( PPE) to protect from i njury. Personal pro-
tecti ve equi pment i ncludessafety glasses,
heari ng protecti on, gloves, hard hats, res-
pi ratorsand adequate foot protecti on.
Once adequate safeguardi ng system( s)
have been selected to reduce the level of
ri sk, i t i si mportant to present the proposed
system to all affected personnel or thei r
representati ves. By doi ng so, many prob-
lemsthat may occur duri ng the i nstallati on
or start-up phasescan be reduced or even
eli mi nated. These problemsmay i nclude
operator i nterferences, producti on slow
downsor mai ntenance di ffi culti es. Identi -
fyi ng and addressi ng these i ssuesat the de-
si gn stage of the safety system wi ll help re-
duce the fi nal costsof the process.
9. Accurately Estimate System Costs
Whether the i mplementati on of the se-
lected safeguardi ng system wi ll be per-
formed by i n-house resourcesor an out-
si de suppli er, accurately i denti fy all costs
associ ated wi th the fi nal system. Com-
mon mi stakes commi tted by faci li ti es
After installation of the
selected safeguarding
solution, make sure to
conduct a follow-up risk
assessment to verify
that the risk level has
been reduced to a
tolerable level.
0805_OH_LOPA 4/6/05 12:35 PM Page 52
11. Conduct Follow-Up Risk
Assessment
After i nstalli ng safeguards, i t i si mper-
ati ve to conduct a follow-up ri sk assess-
ment to veri fy that the ri sk level has
been reduced to a tolerable level. I f i t
hasnot, the processshould be repeated
unti l a tolerable ri sk level i sachi eved. I f,
however, the resulti ng ri sk level i sdeter-
mi ned to be negli gi ble, the process i s
near completi on.
12. Process Close-Out and Sign-Off
Before releasi ng the machi ne to full pro-
ducti on capaci ty, the fi nal step i sto com-
plete the requi red documentati on. Fi rst,
the resi dual ri sk should be i denti fi ed and
documented. Next, the safeguardi ng sys-
tem should be veri fi ed for effecti veness
and compli ance. When vali dati ng the i n-
stalled system, ensure that i ndi vi dualsare
not placed at ri sk. Thi si saccompli shed by
followi ng the devi ce and machi ne manu-
facturers recommended set-up and try-out
procedures. Addi ti onally, all safe work
proceduresand trai ni ng materi al should
be updated to reflect the changesof the
system and then presented to all affected
personnel. After completi on of any re-
qui red trai ni ng, good practi ce i sto com-
plete a machi ne or processsi gn-off veri fy-
i ng that the system i si n proper worki ng
condi ti on and that requi red tasksmay be
completed safely.
The end product of thi sprocesswi ll be a
safe system for personnel and a docu-
mented report i denti fyi ng that thi s has
been achi eved. It should be noted that any
group unwi lli ng or reluctant to provi de the
i nstalli ng thei r own systemsi nclude the
omi ssi on of costsassoci ated wi th labor
and seemi ngly tri vi al materi al costs, i n-
cludi ng condui t and wi ri ng, whi ch can
add up to a noti ceable change i n fi nal ex-
pendi tures. When usi ng outsi de resources,
i t i si mportant to evaluate travel costsand
per di em charges, when appli cable.
10. Provide All Required Services
and Materials
No matter how the i nstallati on wi ll be
completed, i t i si mportant that proper
materi alsare selected and i nstalled us-
i ng tri ed and true methods. These
methodsshould be i n accordance
wi th appropri ate nati onal, regi onal
and local regulati ons; appli cable con-
sensusstandards; user speci fi cati ons;
and devi ce and machi ne manufactur-
ers recommendati ons. Fi rst i denti fy
whi ch gui deli nesare relevant and are
i mportant to the appli cati on. Next, fi nd
i nstallerswi th an i nti mate fami li ari ty
and understandi ng of these standards.
There are no set rulesfor quali fyi ng i n-
stallersof safeguardi ng systems, but
some i deasto consi der i nclude years
of fi eld experi ence, knowledge of
product capabi li ti esand li mi tati ons
and understandi ng of ( and preferably
i nvolvement i n the development of)
safety standards. Become fami li ar wi th
and form a worki ng relati onshi p wi th
the team responsi ble for the i nstalla-
ti on of the safety system because these
i ndi vi dualsare responsi ble for the fi nal
effecti venessand reli abi li ty of the sys-
tem.
necessary documentati on as proof of
compli ance and tolerable resulti ng ri sk
should be re-evaluated before commenc-
i ng wi th the process.
Other Steps
O utsi de of the ri sk assessment and
ri sk reducti on method outli ned here,
other common steps to help ensure a
safe work envi ronment i nclude regular
trai ni ng sessi onsto bui ld and mai ntai n
employee ski ll sets; collaborati ve ef-
fortsto revi ew exi sti ng and to create
new machi ne safeguardi ng speci fi ca-
ti onsto ensure compli ance; assi sti ng i n
devi ce selecti on; and provi di ng i mpar-
ti al approval of compli ance wi th appli -
cable standards. I f selecti ng outsi de
servi ce provi ders to assi st wi th a ma-
chi ne safeguardi ng di recti ve, the offer-
i ng ( or lack of offeri ng) of these addi -
ti onal servi ces may hel p i denti fy
quali fi ed or preferred suppli ers.
I t i s i mportant to complete a ri sk re-
ducti on process for obvi ous reasons,
fi rst and foremost to ensure the health
and safety of personnel. By creati ng a
safer work envi ronment, quali ty i m-
provement i s i ncreased, maki ng com-
pani esmore competi ti ve i n the market-
place, as well as i ndi rectly i mprovi ng
the bottom li ne. I n addi ti on, i ncreased
safety can i mprove company morale
and create a culture that i sfocused on
the well-bei ng of others.
Chris Soranno is a machine & process
safety engineer and assessment & pro-
posal coordinator for STI
Machine Services Inc. of
Anaheim, Calif. He has
been with STI Machine Ser-
vices for more than 2 years.
Soranno can be reached at
(216) 224-5467 or via e-mail at Chris_So-
ranno@sti.com. To view a free Webcast
on this topic, please visit http:/ / www.oc-
cupationalhazards.com.
Although a robot
manufacturer may produce
thousands of identical
robots, each robot can be
incorporated into a variety
of systems. That makes it
necessary to view each
machine as it is used for
each application.
OH
Copyright 2005 by Penton Media, Inc.
STI Machine Services
Anaheim, CA
1/866-260-4784
www.stimachineservices.com
STI
Fremont CA
1/888/510-4357
www.sti.com
Your Single Source for Machine and Process Safety Solutions
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