Are Machine Safety Concerns Keeping You Up at Night?
Sounds like you’re caught in the “Gray Space.”
“We had a very serious machine-related injury. We need to do something about this now. It could have easily been a fatality!”
“The equipment manufacturer refuses to modify our unsafe machine. They say we need to replace it!”
“Safety changes aren’t necessary. They’ll only reduce production and increase our cycle times!”
“We had a third-party risk assessment that identified several risks, but they didn’t tell us how fix them.”
“We can’t leave the machine like this. If we have a regulatory inspection or audit, there will definitely be a violation.”
“For all we know, safety upgrades will cost more than the machine is worth.”
“The OSHA, ANSI, ISO, and NFPA safety standards are very confusing.”
“Safety changes will only restrict our access. Maintenance and repair will be impossible.”
“You bought these safety components? They’re not control-reliable! The safety-control design must be ISO compliant.”
“We need to make sure any machine changes are validated and have Management of Change (MOC) documentation.”
However, if your machine safety upgrade needs are for high-speed, highly automated or robotic equipment, or an assembly of multiple machines, then the complexity and cost of machine-safety upgrades are much more complex. This is when many employers need to reach out to an external machine-safety partner for assistance. They can help navigate this complex and often lengthy process that may take months, if not years to complete. There are some proven approaches for implementing successful machine-safety upgrade projects, and several of these approaches follow a management-system framework that should be familiar to many manufacturing and EHS professionals. When an internal safety project takes a dive into the Gray Space, seeking the assistance of external resources with expertise and real-world solutions is often the best approach to get your machine-safety project back on track.
About the Author
“Helping others to comply with EHS regulations & preventing serious, if not fatal injuries has been my life’s work.”
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Provide a safe and compliant working environment.
Take the first step. Ask MPSA to identify your safety and compliance issues. We can do the rest.