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SUPPLEMENT FEATURE yMachine Safety


Safeguarding production efficiency


Well-designed machine guarding can improve rather than hinder efficiency, argues Steve Allen, national sales manager at Procter Machine Safety


Hinges and linear guides on moveable M


achine guarding has a significant impact on the efficiency of both the production process and


maintenance. Poorly designed guards hinder access and increase cycle times, as well as impeding maintenance. Should an accident occur, the injuries sustained and the costs, both direct and indirect, will prove the foolhardiness of penny-pinching on machine guarding. Guards are key to the interaction between operatives and the machine: depending on the process, guards might be opened once per machine cycle, periodically for cleaning or clearing blockages, or for maintenance.


guards must be sufficiently robust for the application because premature wear can make the guards difficult to operate. Glazing in vision panels must be resistant to scratching or replaced when it becomes obscured, otherwise there may be a temptation to open the guard for process viewing, which may lead to a longer cycle time and/or a loss of quality. Close-fitting guards are often installed on hazardous machines but larger processes may be better protected by perimeter guarding. In this case, the height of the guarding and the distance from the hazard must be appropriate (this is covered by BS EN ISO 13857). When maintenance is required, whether


planned or unplanned, guards must be removed quickly and easily to gain access. Correctly designed guards will be held in place by the minimum number of fasteners possible, and the relevant standard (BS EN ISO 14120) requires the


use of retained fastenings for fixed guards. However, while compliance with standards is ‘black and white’ it takes experience and expertise to know what an HSE inspector will expect to see when assessing whether risks have been reduced to a level that is As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). Fortunately, Procter Machine Safety has a team of qualified and highly experienced specialists who can conduct surveys to check machine guarding compliance with standards, and they can also undertake PUWER inspections on machinery. The full- service offering extends to on-site machine surveys and risk assessments, plus design, manufacture and installation of bespoke machine guards, complete with electrical aspects such as connecting interlocks to a safety-related control system.


CONTACT:


Procter Machine Safety Tel: 02920 855758 Web: www.machinesafety.co.uk


Getting a grip on machinery handling


Health and safety in manufacturing and engineering is the sum of all parts. Even the most unnoticeable components must be carefully selected and assessed, explains Marcus Schneck, CEO of standard components specialists, Norelem


W


hen thinking about health and safety in factories or around machinery, it is probable that the first thoughts which come


to mind will be around heavy moving parts. The risks of crushing, trapping, cutting, lifting heavy loads, are all of course dangerous and deadly hazards which should be adequately risk assessed.


Indeed, when you look at the statistics, it’s not hard to see why. According to UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), each year there was an average of more than 3,100 reports of major injuries in the last five years. However, it’s not always the obvious dangers that cause the damage. Minor injuries like strains and sprains also account for many of the reported injuries in the workplace. Injuries like repetitive strain injury are caused from longer term mis-use of equipment, and a gradual build-up of damage to muscles, tendons and nerves. These can be from poor grips and knobs on tools, and injuries can even rise from the


S8 June 2019 | Machine Safety


most innocuous of bumps from handles that stick out from machinery. Ultimately, these injuries lead to lost


productivity, efficiency and impacts on profitability. There are measures that can prevent these injuries from occurring, and there are a wide variety of standard components that will suit users and applications.


Grips can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are used every day within the manufacturing industry or on the factory floor. From manual clamping star grips to palm grips designed for clamp covers, there is a wide range of grips that can ensure quick and secure use within the workplace. However, before settling for the first grip you may come across, it is important to consider the application in which the grip will be used in. For example, with palm grips, they have triangular grooves which allow twisting and turning to be an easy task whether that’s a tightening or loosening action. This makes them ideal for installing in


hard to access areas behind large machinery or components, so users can easily operate the grip when needed.


Whether it’s pulling or pushing, handles are essential when working in a busy manufacturing or engineering environment. Handles can range from pull handles which are designed to provide easy grip when pulling machinery or furniture around, through to recessed handles which are designed to embed into the surface they are attached to. It’s easy to bypass the thinking around the safety element of handles in the workplace and whether they could cause potential harm when passing by. Using the correct product can allow easier functionality and reduced stress on the body part using that component, protecting productivity, protecting machinery, and ultimately, protecting users.


CONTACT: Norelem


Tel: 0121 222 5322 Web: www.norelem.co.uk automationmagazine.co.uk


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