A machinery operator can provide a significant contribution to avoiding defeat of protective equipment on machinery: on the one hand when purchasing new machinery lest “problematic machinery” be introduced into the shop. On the other hand by taking quick and effective measures where defeat of protective equipment on other machinery has been detected.
a) Prior to purchasing new machinery
Before the machine is taken into service, a thorough market exploration may help to avoid introducing problems into one´s own company.
The customer (the future operator) often fails to see the necessity to explicitly include certain requirements into the contract. The reason for this is that he assumes that the relevant requirements have been taken care of by law and thus no further agreement is necessary. In many respects, this is surely true. But: what is the benefit of having this certainty, if it turns out later that a machine fails to fulfil all requirements and therefore cannot be taken into service?
Therefore, it is useful to determine the requirements to be fulfilled by the machine prior to purchase. Such requirements may e.g. include
- performance parameters (pieces/min, …)
- hygienic requirements
- fulfilment of certain technical standards
- keeping the noise emission level below a certain value
- special requirements relating to maintainability (e.g. particularly easy and safe accessibility to areas known to be more prone to failure)
- requirements relating to cleanability
- safe intervention possibilities for tool change
- safe setting.
- Checklist machinery purchase contains complementary information
Normally, these requirements are listed in the form of a performance specification, and are part of the tender procedure. On the basis of this performance specification, the manufacturer is able to see the customer´s particular needs, and to make a tailor-made offer.
As a rule, a requirements specification is part of this offer. In this requirements specification, the manufacturer shows how he intends to fulfil the requirements of the performance specification. Thus, the future operator is given a transparent possibility to check whether the offer matches his requirements and where, if need be, there is still need for adaptation.
b) Machinery already taken into service
If you have found out that protective equipment in your company has been defeated, it is time to take action. After having taken immediate measures to restore the safe (original) condition of the machine, it is necessary to systematically analyse the situation that was the cause for defeating the protective equipment.
The following 5 steps are to help you not to lose the „red thread“ during this analysis. Click on the following steps to get further information:
Step 1: Description of the situation
Step 2: Cause investigation
Step 3: Counteraction
Step 4: Implementing the mesasures defined
Step 5: Verifying the efficiency of the defined measures