Machine Safety: Is upgrading to solid state enough?

Moving machine guarding solutions to solid-state-based components from hard-wired components has been a persistent U.S. discussion since 2002. Are solid-state components enough to provide effective machine safety and personnel safety?

12/03/2012


The overwhelming discussion since 2002 in the U.S. has been about moving machine guarding solutions to solid state based components from hard wired components. To provide effective machine safety and personnel safety – is this enough?

 

It’s been my observation since 2002 that the majority of all the chatter in industry has been focused around promotional campaigns for firmware and software based safety certified products for machine guarding. True, the door opened in the U.S. in 2002 for these products based on the 2002 change in NFPA 79 removing the requirement for all machine guarding devices to be hard wired. This standard also added the requirement that safety rated software and firmware based products used in safety-related functions shall be listed for such use. Naturally these changes fueled the supply channel and listing organizations for these products to launch major go-to-market selling and marketing campaigns. Yet, industry is still required to provide effective machine safety and personnel safety as required by OSHA and the industry standards. Therefore, is migrating your machine safety strategy to solid state enough?

 

In my opinion, and most industry experts in the field, the answer would be definitely not.

 

I’ve got a few reasons as to why migrating to solid state is not enough. And, I’ll bet that you can add several more. To begin with, isn’t upgrading your machine guarding to solid state simply one step any company should consider? Isn’t there a larger question that the supply channel typically doesn’t address in their promotional campaigns, i.e.:

1.    Is your safety culture best-in-class?

2.    Does your line and staff cadre openly accept and encourage change?

3.    Do you have an effective preventative maintenance program in place?

4.    Do your production & maintenance employees feel engaged?

5.    Do your employees take ownership for your machine safety culture?

 

Remember the real organizational gotcha – “we haven’t had an accident for a long time, so we’re safe”?

 

So, what’s your opinion? Is migrating your machine safety strategy to solid state enough?

 

Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below.

 

J.B. Titus, CFSERelated articles:

Machine Guarding & The Hierarchy of Measures for Hazard Mitigation

Machine Safety: Is OSHA okay with my 'acceptable' risk mitigation?

Machine safety: A social responsibility or KPI?

Machine Safety: the myths of safety cultures.

Machine Safety: Updating Minds About Machine Safety

 

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.



Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me