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Machine Safety in Automation

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Machine Safety in Automation

As automation becomes more integrated into industries, safety features and requirements continue to change.  Automation takes workers further away from working on the floor, but it also makes it easier for people to work alongside machines.

In the past, perimeters and guards were put up on the outside of machines to protect workers from the outside. As automation improves, technology is being built into machines through software and sensors to enable safety from the inside.  As this technology improves, both domestic and international safety standards are becoming more aligned, which improves the ease of ordering new machines and keeping up to codes.  The following categories explain ways to make sure your company keeps up to date with safety education and information.

Risk Categories

By completing a risk assessment of a facility and each machine, your company can evaluate what levels of protection are required in each step of the process.  Working through function descriptions and operating instructions for each machine will help to inform workers of how to be safe around the machine and what to look out for.  By categorizing the risk factors, workers can keep better track of what protective wear is necessary in certain areas.  

These categories can also help to identify what safety maintenanced  can be done to protect against machine failures and problems.  If machines are maintenanced more often or monitored better, less issues are likely to occur that can create dangerous situations.

Simple Standards

Implementing simple safety standard requirements allows people to more easily follow and keep up with guidelines.  When regulations and safety restrictions become too complicated or uneasy to understand it is more likely that workers will not follow requirements.  This will lead to more safety problems and end up costing the company more for injuries.

Tool Motion Instructions

As automation improves so that people can work alongside machines, it is important to know the motion and abilities to prevent issues.  If a worker is aware of which ways something such as a robot can bend and swivel, then they can work next to each other without the fear of the robot swinging and hitting a person.  This improves production time and increases safety if workers are well informed.

Overall, it is important to keep your facility safe by using new integrated technology and educating workers about safety. Companies will be more productive and have higher safety success by following the above tips.

 

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