SEP-OCT 2018

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these advances in technology. Unfortunately, understanding and assessing these risks—and ensuring compliance—is not a simple task. Let's break it down by starting with risk assessments, before diving into possible machine guarding solutions, and then ending with a brief history lesson on some of the indus- try's changing safety standards. The basics The first step for facility and safety professionals is to identify and understand all codes and regu - lations that are applicable to their facilities and operations. For managers who have stayed up to date, this is not a difficult task. For those who have not, this might not be quite so simple. The second step is to examine the prevailing machine guarding choices for those operations to validate their safety system and its compo - nents. Although many guarding methods and products are available, not all can be applied universally. Every machine guarding applica - tion has its own unique challenges and associ- ated risks. The choices a facility manager makes for one application might not be the same—or appropriate—for the next. In most cases, safety-conscious managers would not guard an industrial robot the same way they guard other equipment, because the risk associated with each differs greatly. Risk may even vary between similar operations, depend- ing upon employee exposure and other factors. Conducting a thorough risk assessment is the best way to maintain a safe work environment, es- pecially when adding new automated processes. Proper risk assessments are not just good practice, however. When RIA R15.06-2013 went into effect several years ago, they became mandatory. L ook before you leap. This sage advice holds true in today's manufacturing world, especially as it pertains to ma - chine guarding. That is why it is always a good idea to perform a proper risk assessment before installing or upgrading new equipment. Under - standing all of the possible dangers associated with new operations can help a facility protect against hazards before an accident occurs. And yet, according to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "machine guarding," which pertains to machine gen- eral requirements for general industry (29 CFR 1910.212), consistently falls in the top ten most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in any given year. The multitude of robotic applications and the growth of robot use and automation in all industries seemingly make ensuring safety more difficult. But facility managers who start with a risk assessment need not be troubled by By John Ritter Start with risk assessment to enhance safety Automated barrier doors create safer workflow 22 INTECH SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG Creating a safe environment for workers near robotic equipment

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