While many areas of business demand compromise to achieve success, the safety of your crew and equipment is not one of them. Recovering from the consequences of an incident can be costly to your company and disastrous for the people involved. Risk assessments should be a fundamental part of your operations to avoid the serious ramifications of an event.
These examples demonstrate how our Machine Safety and Risk Assessment team helped our customers avoid the worst consequences.
OSHA Visit Leads to Speedy Solutions
After an employee was injured while operating machinery and OSHA followed up with an audit, this customer reached out for help eliminating the dangerous conditions that contributed to the incident.
The machine has two turreting mandrels that operators access once a cycle to unload a finished roll while the other continues to wind. The rolls are relatively close to each other, and all machines stay energized during this process. The customer’s lockout-tagout procedure was also particularly cumbersome and drastically slowed production.
We created a muting zone using an area scanner and light curtain to protect workers from hazardous situations and applied similar solutions to potential hazards across the production line. The muting zone eliminated the need for a lengthy lockout/tagout procedure while still keeping to OSHA guidelines. Plus, LOTO is a solution that relies on people to perform the procedure properly, so engineered solutions are vastly preferable.
Validation Services Prevent Serious Trouble
This customer recently upgraded their line to improve its speed and include new safety functionality across the line. The commissioning process was nearly complete, but during the validation process, we found several emergency stop buttons that did not initiate an emergency stop at all.
The failure of an emergency stop button could lead to unimaginable consequences. From damage to equipment to injuries to workers—or worse— this situation received an immediate remedy from our engineers, who were still on site completing the commissioning process.
Had the customer discovered the malfunctioning buttons later, even if there were no damages or injuries, they would likely have had to endure at least some downtime for repairs. Fortunately, we encountered them during the commissioning process and immediately restored functionality to the buttons.
Risk Assessment Reveals Serious Hazards
A severe hazard was identified when this customer called our team to perform a machine risk assessment. Our machine safety consultant found that the in-floor conveyor equipment posed a serious risk to bystanders and operators. As the area already had several audible alarms, an alternate idea was needed.
Our solution included using warning lights to provide clear directional visual warnings that won’t be confused with other audible alarms and sounds. Blue warning lights were mounted on the machine frame that would activate five seconds before the conveyor activated and remain illuminated during use. We then implemented this solution in three other conveyor areas.
The customer reported a considerable reduction in near-miss incidents. Their staff said that the conveyor area is now a more comfortable work area, and the conveyor can be used more efficiently, too.
Risk Assessment is a Smart Investment
The risk assessment process should be an integral part of every operation. Worker injury and equipment damage are far more costly to your crew and the company’s bottom line than addressing safety issues before an event occurs.
If you’d like additional information on reducing your risk while providing a safer, more productive work environment for your crew with a machine risk assessment from Quad Plus, please get in touch with Jim Woulf at (920) 515-4155 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.