Blog

Don’t fall for these common myths about machine safety!

The consequences of poor safety practices are steep, and misunderstandings about machine safeguarding requirements place many facilities at risk for serious accidents. Nonetheless, many safety-related misconceptions continue to be widespread throughout manufacturing.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

MYTH #1: Safety is something you can just take care of once and then forget about.

Safety is an ongoing requirement, and companies must have machine risk assessments completed regularly. It’s important to make sure that the risk assessment provider’s team is composed of safety experts and engineers holding industry certifications and professional liability insurance rather than sales professionals.

MYTH #2: Older machines can be “grandfathered in,” so they don’t need safeguarding.

No equipment is exempt from current machine-guarding standards, and so-called “grandfather clauses” simply do not exist for machine safeguarding. An exemption relating to robotic safety circuit integration does exist under some robot standards, and this has led to some confusion.

MYTH #3: If you have several machines that are identical, you only need to do a risk assessment for one of them.

This depends on the complexity of the machine. Even seemingly insignificant differences between machines and their positioning relative to one another could change the outcome of a risk assessment.

MYTH #4: There are machine safeguarding exemptions for smaller companies.

This is false. All companies are required to safeguard their machines properly and protect the lives and safety of their employees. What may depend on company size is the amount a company is required to pay in case of a safety violation.

MYTH #5: Performance requirements for safety measures stop at the wire.

This particular myth deals with the ways in which various energy sources need to be safeguarded. Many manufacturers believe that safeguarding is only necessary when the energy source is electrical. The truth is that all energy sources need to be “single fault tolerant,” including hydraulic and pneumatic sources.

Want to learn more about common machine safety misconceptions that manufacturers can easily become swayed by? Read the full article written by Todd Mason-Darnell, Ph.D., Services and Safety Marketing Manager, and Michael Joaquin, P.Eng., Safety Services Specialist for Manufactucturing Automation magazine by clicking here!

Contact us to get your Machine Safety Risk Assessment

Lifecycle Stage
Solutions Interest