Overcoming the Challenges of Electronic Machine Safety

Electronic machine safety provides the highest level of protection to workers against exposure to workplace hazards but comes with many challenges.  Overcoming these challenges can be a grueling process and potentially catastrophic without the proper education and support from the expertise of specialists in this field.

Safety Managers have an obligation of protecting their assets every day, including their employees.  This can be accomplished through machine safety guarding defined as a physical barrier, an electronic safety device, or a hybrid of both to minimize or prevent exposure to hazards between person and machine.  However, a machine guard is not a true safety guard until an electronic signal is added, virtually bringing the barrier to life by communicating with the machine on how to react based on human interaction.

Safety Mangers are faced with a staggering number of scenarios to work through, but unfortunately the solutions are not black and white.  Each situation requires a different solution, but still requires the same outcome of improving workplace safety.  Electronic machine safety is most effective when done correctly but requires specialized knowledge of each electronic option as it relates to the functionality of the machine and how the worker interacts with the equipment.  The most common options are safety switches, safety light curtains, safety laser scanners, and safety mats.  Each device requires a specific infrastructure of safety relays or safety controllers, power supplies, reset switches, and remote emergency stop buttons built into a safety control enclosure.  All four of these devices make up electronic machine safety, but the right device needs to be chosen based on each individual application to be done correctly.

Safety switches are one of the most common electronic safety devices.  They are used in conjunction with a door or removable panel of a physical barrier.  The switch stops the machine when an employee opens a door or removes an access panel eliminating the risk.  The next device is safety light curtains, which consists of a transmitter and receiver which send invisible beams across a work area.  Another type of device is the safety laser scanner, which are also invisible beams programmed as warning and hazard zones scanned in a 2D plane.  Both the light curtains and laser scanners prevent anyone from passing through to the machine hazards once the invisible beams are broken.  The other common device is the safety mat adding electronics to an ergonomic floor mat and placed in the area of concern.  This mat is activated when a person steps on the mat and interrupts the electronic circuit internally.  All four of these scenarios are integrated through a safety control enclosure then tied to the machine e-stop circuit essentially stopping the entire machine.  Without these devices, employees can walk or reach right into the hazardous areas creating unsafe conditions.

Another challenge the Safety Manager needs to be conscious of are the costs.  Electronics inherently add cost to the project due to the electronic products themselves along with the skill level of the controls technician required to properly integrate the devices into the machine controls.  These higher costs are justified as a part of improving worker safety and should be looked at as an investment of asset protection.  This may require some explanation when requesting approval which should be based on worker’s comp rates, age of machine vs buying new, and one thing you can’t put a price tag on is worker safety.  If the cost of upgrading a machine is not justified based on the cost of a new machine with the right safety features, then the machine should be replaced.  Otherwise the cost of doing nothing could have severe consequences.

To aid in helping Safety Managers, it is imperative they collaborate with a third-party company specialized in turnkey safety guarding solutions with a strong understanding of the standards & regulations.  This type of company can provide an objective approach when creating initial concepts built around the answers to the above questions.  When using a company with turnkey services, communication can be tighter, value can be improved, lead-times from start to finish can be reduced, workplace safety attitudes can be improved based on a comfort level with the knowledge and execution, all resulting in building a stronger, long-term relationships working towards achieving the safety goals for each facility.  

There is a multitude of questions the Safety Manager is faced with to narrow down which solution is best for the project.  Does this machine have a dynamic braking system?  How often are you changing parts?  How often do you maintain the machine?  Does the material need to be contained by physical barriers preventing a thrown objects hazard?  Do the machine controls have the current infrastructure to allow modern safety devices to be integrated or do the machine controls require upgrading?  Do I need to prevent employees from bypassing the safety devices?  Am I trying to achieve a certain safety category level?  Any one option initially can work, but the choices are reduced based on the answers to these questions.

“Safety first!” and “Employees are our greatest asset” has lost some of its meaning due to these challenges Safety Managers are faced with daily.  Due to the vast number of industrial facilities and custom processes, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed but not justified in taking shortcuts, choosing the wrong solution, or doing nothing.  There is great value in the knowledge of available options, the how’s and why’s of choosing the right solution, and finding the right support structure to accomplish your safety goals.  Safety is everyone’s responsibility and must be prioritized at the highest level.

Co-Authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Professional Safety Journal

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/uidxapAYGOs

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Whitepaper for the Universal PumpMaster 2020, a Hands-Free Sanitizer Dispenser

We published this white paper to help improve industrial hygiene for preventing the spread of germs and saving people’s lives.

Table of Contents

  • Definition of the hands-free sanitizer dispenser
  • Reasons for using a hands-free sanitizer dispenser
  • Applications of the hands-free sanitizer dispenser
  • Construction of the Universal PumpMaster 2020
  • Proper use of the dispensing system
  • Associated products to be used with dispenser
  • Maintenance of the dispensing system
  • Keywords to use for searches
  • Conclusion

What is the Universal PumpMaster 2020?

The Universal PumpMaster 2020 is a patent pending, hands-free sanitizer dispensing system, more commonly known as a sanitizer dispenser. This specialized product was developed to help maintain sanitary work environments for employees as part of a company’s pandemic protection protocols as well as good hygiene. This unique unit offers many features and benefits to the user which include:

  • The product is Made in the USA!
  • This is a CDC approved product-type
  • Universal adjustment options for a wide range of product uses
  • Sturdy frame with a corrosion-resistant finish
  • Aesthetically pleasing look and ergonomic design
  • Ability to be conveniently located anywhere with a weight of less than 20 lbs
  • Maintenance free mechanical unit
  • User controls the amount of product dispensed preventing waste and dry & irritated skin
Hands-free dispensing system

Reasons for using a hands-free sanitizer dispensing system

“Safety first”, “Safety is top priority”, “Employees are our greatest assets”, these are all phrases that sometimes loses traction in this busy and distracting world. Workplace safeguarding encompasses a lot of critical areas, but one that has increased in recognition due to COVID-19 is spreading of germs. It can be easy to forget about proper hygiene because germs are not visible to the naked eye, so proper workplace safety measures must be put in place to ensure adherence to sanitation measures.

In effort to overcome this, one step is to create a Pandemic Protection Protocol. This plan or program requires putting together workplace safeguarding measures which includes hygiene products, screening checkpoints & questionnaires, enhanced cleaning schedules, and training documents. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the tools to their workers, teach them how to use them, and perform routine audits to make sure the systems are being followed.

Washing hands and using sanitizers is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading and leading to sickness and infection. These microorganisms are too small to see and infect humans and animals. Hands-free sanitizer dispensers can and should be used in any industrial and commercial environment to ensure proper and essential personal hygiene. Using hand sanitizer is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading and leading to sickness and infection. The Universal PumpMaster used in conjunction with the associated approved cleaners and disinfectants is essential to reducing cross contamination due to less human direct-contact touches minimizing the spreading of germs and the chance to contract viruses such as COVID-19, the common flu, etc. It is imperative that employers consider this a part of their safeguarding directives to provide safe and healthy work environment for their employees, suppliers, and customers.

Universal symbol for the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Places hands-free sanitizer dispensing systems can be used

There is a large array of places the hands-free sanitizer dispenser can be used in, which are categorized into industrial, commercial, retail, and entertainment spaces to help kill germs in private and general populated areas.

  • Industrial applications include manufacturing facilities, automotive plants, consumer packaging facilities, food processing plants, oil and gas refineries, and construction aggregate.
  • Commercial applications include healthcare facilities, office wellness, car dealerships, auto repair and body shops, food service establishments, food trucks, farmer’s markets, hotel lobbies, and distribution warehouse storage facilities.
  • Retail applications include stores for home improvement, groceries, convenience items, farms supply, department stores, gas stations, and consumer electronics.

Entertainment applications include escape rooms such as Escapology, zoos, park and rec areas, riverfronts, festivals, sporting events, amusement parks and waterparks, movie theatres, catered events such as parties and weddings, and golf courses.

Escapology Fort Wayne, the live escape game

General construction of the Universal PumpMaster sanitizer dispenser

The Universal PumpMaster is a simple but unique design with many built in features allowing for a wide range of product uses.  All the aluminum and steel components consist of an aesthetically pleasing, corrosion resistant, flat black, powder coated finish.

  1. The frame is constructed from a 1-piece formed steel and includes 2 welded gussets for additional strength
  2. The pump action steel rod housing is a single t-slotted aluminum extrusion with a unique center hole bolted to the main frame
  3. The rigid spring-loaded pump handle is welded to the steel rod, offering a large surface area for pumping the handle of the solution and includes a manufacturer contact info label for reordering or support
  4. The ergonomically shaped, user-friendly foot pedal is used to activate the pump handle via a spring-loaded shaft
  5. The shelf is made from steel formed into an angle, mounted to the t-slotted extrusion
    1. The shelf is designed to hold up to a 1-gallon bottle of disinfectants and cleaners
    2. The slots on the underside of the shelf along with the modular extrusion t-slot are used to provide infinite adjustment left to right and up down. The allows for center aligned as well as offset spouts.

Diagram of the sanitizer dispenser

How to properly use a hands-free sanitizer dispenser

This pictorial diagraph below will show the proper way to use hand sanitizer in conjunction with the dispensing system.

  • Place your hand or hands under the nozzle on the bottle
  • Place a foot on the ergonomic foot pedal
  • Press down slowly allowing for the top spring-loaded paddle to press down on the solution pump
  • Release your foot when the desired amount of sanitizer is dispensed, typically a dime-sized amount is sufficient
    • Too much hand sanitizer can cause skin irritation, which could result in cracking and bleeding
  • Rub your hands together, palm to palm
  • Interlock your fingers rubbing the sanitizer in between your fingers and going around to the back of your hands

After about 20 seconds of rubbing your hands together, your hands should be dry and safe.

How to properly wash your hands

Associated products to use with this hands-free sanitizer dispenser

Associated products that can be used with the Universal PumpMaster sanitizer dispenser include any product up to a 1-gallon jug container with a pump handle. 

  • Primary products include hand sanitizers, hand soaps, pumice hand cleaners, lotions and moisturizers, and disinfectant cleaners.
  • Other products include condiments such as ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauces.
    • This offers a 2-fold solution, one being hands-free, the second being the reduction of condiment packet waste which helps save the environment.

The Universal PumpMaster used in conjunction with the Zep brand of products, a producer and distributor of cleaning solutions, offers great alternatives to washing hands with soap and water to help with consumer health consciousness heightening. To ensure the use of proper and safe products, the Zep Brand Products offers many different solutions to choose from such as:

Zep brand hand sanitizer

General Maintenance of this dispensing system

The Universal PumpMaster 2020 is maintenance free as it relates to the continuous operation of the dispensing unit. Once the shelf is set vertically and horizontally for the bottle based on the spout location in relation to the pump handle, the unit is ready for use. Only a few bolts are used in the construction, which are fastened into the t-slotted extrusion using a drop-lock feature. This feature virtually acts as a lock washer to hold the fasteners together. This unit does not require batteries risking the chance the dispenser cannot be used to prevent germs for an undetermined period of time.

Tools for maintaining the sanitizer dispenser

Keywords

If you are interested in learning more about sanitizer dispensers and their associated products, use these keywords when searching for more information, suppliers, or support on this product class.  Sanitizer dispenser, dispensing system, hands-free dispenser, dispensing systems, sanitizers, disinfectant dispensers, hand hygiene, hand sanitizers, and hand washing alternatives.

Keyword search box for researching sanitizer dispensers

Conclusion

Once a pandemic protection protocol program is documented, then assets need to be put in place such as hand washing basins, sanitizing equipment like the patent pending Universal PumpMaster 2020, disinfecting wipes, and UV sterilizers. When searching, try to refine your focus to any hands-free type devices to reduce touch contamination. These types of products, while they are specialized pieces of equipment, will speed up routine disinfecting schedules and minimize the opportunity for cross contamination which will reduce germs and the chance to contract viruses. All aspects of workplace safety require constant attention. Companies need to make sure momentary memory lapse does not take over due to the invisibility of a given hazard. The opportunity for catastrophic consequences is very present, but the tools are out there to ensure proper hygiene methods are kept relevant. These user-friendly tools will provide a safer work environment for the current and future generations helping them get home safely to their families and friends every day.

Universal PumpMaster 2020 Dispenser

Download a copy of this whitepaper

Authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/uidxapAYGOs

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

The importance of proper tools needed to prevent the spread of germs

Workplace safeguarding encompasses a lot of critical areas, but one that has increased in recognition due to COVID-19 is spreading of germs. It can be easy to forget about proper hygiene because germs are not visible to the naked eye.

Proper workplace safety measures must be put in place to ensure adherence to sanitation measures. Washing hands and using sanitizers is one of the best ways to prevent germs from spreading and leading to sickness and infection. These microorganisms are too small to see and infect humans and animals.

“Safety first”, “Safety is top priority”, “Employees are our greatest assets”, these are all phrases that sometimes loses traction in this busy and distracting world. In effort to overcome this, one step is to create a Pandemic Protection Protocol. This plan or program requires putting together workplace safeguarding measures which includes hygiene products, screening checkpoints & questionnaires, enhanced cleaning schedules, and training documents. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the tools to their workers, teach them how to use them, and perform routine audits to make sure the systems are being followed.

Once a program is documented, then assets need to be put in place such as hand washing basins, sanitizing equipment like the patent pending Universal PumpMaster 2020, disinfecting wipes, and UV sterilizers. When searching, try to refine your focus to any hands-free type devices to reduce touch contamination. These types of products, while they are specialized pieces of equipment, will speed up routine disinfecting schedules and minimizing the opportunity for cross contamination reducing germs and the chance to contract viruses.

All aspects of safety require constant attention. Companies need to make sure momentary lapse does not take over due to the invisibility of a given hazard. The opportunity for catastrophic consequences is very present, but the tools are out there to ensure proper hygiene methods are kept relevant. These tools will provide a safer work environment for the current and future generations helping them get home safe to their family and friends every day.

Authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/uidxapAYGOs

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Will your machine safety guarding ever rule the manufacturing world you work in?

For centuries machines have been operated unsafely in an unregulated market. It was not until that in 1970, just 50 years ago, OSHA was formed as a reaction to the public outcry of industrial accidents. Originally called “the safety bill of rights”, it was a regulation created to improve workplace safety for employees. Unfortunately, companies do not follow these regulations, which result in accidents continuing to happen daily. These are the same companies that commonly preach Safety 1st.

Ignorance of the law and modern technologies play a factor in current workplace injuries. Machines were not specifically built with safety in mind prior to 1970. Employees operated machines either with an overconfidence or fear and eventually many workers became injured. An excuse commonly used is “my machine is too old to add safety and should be grandfathered in prior to the OSHA regulations”. This is a response of ignorance to the knowledge of OSHA regulations and modern technologies for safety guarding such as VFDs, braking motors, and control reliability package upgrades. The regulations can be found on the internet by employers at www.osha.gov giving them the opportunity to learn the letter of the law. The specifications of how to guard these older machines is more protected within the ANSI standards to ensure they are properly interpreted. Support for these types of projects would require a technically skilled company that focuses on both turnkey machine safety and automation solutions with the ability to evaluate the machine upgrade requirements before adding and integrating the proper machine guarding. There are cases where machine hazards are still present after adding machine guarding to older machines, but with modern methods and technology, machines can be made safer.

Another major factor in unsafe work conditions is willful disregard for the workers, basically turning a blind eye. Comments like “they shouldn’t put their hands in there” or “no one has gotten hurt yet, so we’re good” are blatant disregards to the well-being of their employees. This attitude can result in a horrific accident for the worker and potential jail time for the employer aware of the hazard prior to the accident. Free will could be to blame for this carefree attitude, which allows the power of choice for different directions and outcomes.  This compliance-driven industry exploits free will and poses the question…does anyone really have the right to put other people’s lives in jeopardy so they can maintain free will? Free will is a right or privilege, but can we be trusted?  It has been proven through facts and stats that in the case of machine safety, the answer is generally no. If you ignore safety hazards, you are making the choice to put employees at risk which should bring on self-inflicted consequences such as disciplinary actions and/or termination.

Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, and neither is stupidity, but both seem to trump proper workplace safety measures. Unfortunately, it can be a case of ignorance can be fixed, stupid is forever. Either scenario can result in heavy fines issued by OSHA, a federal agency founded alongside the Act of 1970. OSHA’s role is to assure American workers are safe by setting and enforcing standards followed by training and outreach. Inspectors can show up unannounced, look for repeat offenses, and search for current hazards. These finding are typically met with costly penalties and potentially a plea to the courts to shut down the jobsite. These consequences can be avoided by reaching out to turnkey safety guarding companies for guidance and solutions. These types of companies can help create prioritized plans which include custom designs, fabrication and assembly of guarding, any machine upgrades necessary, as well as the installation and integration of the electronic safety devices and automation components. This direction helps improve machine safety while providing consistency and reducing pain points found with unsafe work conditions.

Will machine safety ever rule the manufacturing world seems to be a rhetorical question but needs to be made clear. With the swing of the pendulum, we go from a blatant disregard of a person’s well-being to wondering if we must be programmed like a robot to do the right thing. Self-driving cars, self-lacing shoes, hoverboards, wrist communicators, cleaning robots; these were all thought to be “science fiction”. Maybe someday they will implant chips in our brains and force us to all operate machines safely. Until then it is imperative, we find a middle ground between the two for the safety of employees and the protection of assets. No one is alone is this and there are qualified machine safety and automation companies out there willing to help throughout the entire process providing turnkey solutions.

Authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to the video at https://youtu.be/cHNYS_Xi3jM

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Learning About the 5 Expenses You Will Avoid by Investing in Your Machine Safety Guarding for Your People

Cost avoidance is defined by any action taken in the present that prevents incurring greater costs in the future. For example, routinely investing in machine safety to remain in compliance with safety regulations is a form of cost avoidance.

Unlike immediate cost savings, cost avoidance measures are not reflected in financial statements or annual budgets. They are nevertheless important to a company’s profitability.

When cost avoidance is not exercised, companies can face several potentially catastrophic expenses.

These include:

  • Lost time wages and lost customers due to production constraints
  • Increased worker’s compensation rates
  • Medical bills
  • OSHA fines
  • Litigation and settlements

These costs can be unrecoverable and cannot be forecast due to the large number of unknown and unpredictable factors that can contribute to an incident.

Despite this, machine safety is often seen as an expense rather than an investment. It is not a product or solution a factory can use to generate sales, so it does not positively impact the bottom line. It is, instead, a way to protect your assets (including your employees) from future adverse consequences.

(Learn about 6 Things to Look for When Selecting Machine Guards)

In this article, I will break down each of these five expenses that can be incurred when cost avoidance is not executed for machine safety.

Lost Time Wages and Lost Customers

Lost time wages and lost customers go hand in hand.

When an accident occurs, the company is responsible for maintaining the employee’s wages in order to minimize the impact of the incident on their life. This means the company will maintain payroll without the positive result of meeting the customer’s need.

To avoid losing a customer, then, other trained workers need to do overtime to compensate for the decline in production rates. This also requires additional administrative time to manage shifting responsibilities, priorities, and training.

(Find out How a Phased Return to Work Program Is Beneficial for the Employee)

Worker’s Compensation Rates

Worker’s compensation is a type of business insurance that provides coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for employees who have suffered from a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is compliance-driven, but also protects employers from lawsuits.

Some insurance companies encourage machine safety by offering lower rates to companies that implement it. Be sure to research this option to help reduce this recurring expense, as well as avoiding increased premiums due to filed claims.

Medical Bills

Medical bills are a variable that is not always fully considered by the insurance companies. There is potential for post-accident in-network vs out-of-network costs, increased deductibles, emergency transport, and service fees – all depending on where the accident took place.

The company is typically task/ed with the direction of the medical care but challenged with not creating additional inconvenience and decreased comfort for the affected employee.

OSHA Fines

OSHA reports that machine safety is one of the top 10 most violated regulations in the industry.

OSHA standards are meant to ensure a safe environment for workers. Too often, however, these rules are ignored until there is a need to react to a negative event. This is usually met with fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of the violation.

Litigation and Settlements

Litigation and settlements are the most expensive and the ugliest portion of the cost avoidance formula.

Companies want to take care of their employees, but when an accident occurs they often shift to a defensive position. This requires support of an internal legal team or an external law firm focused on job-related accidents. Consultations, payroll for fact finding, and negotiations are all time-sensitive costs that add up quickly. Court costs and associated expenditures may be incurred if negotiations are unsuccessful.

Ultimately a settlement of some sort will be paid out for pain and suffering for the employee and their family. This is an undesirable outcome that negatively affects the company’s bottom line.

Machine Safety Cost Avoidance

Cost avoidance is important to secure the profitability of any facility. The benefits of investing in machine safety more than outweigh the initial costs.

To ensure the costs are calculated properly for funds appropriation, be sure to work with a qualified turnkey safety guarding company. These companies can provide education, recommendations for required safety upgrades, and full designs and quotes. They can also help you create and implement your machine safety plan.

It is a small cost for a rich future.

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Safeopedia

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/uidxapAYGOs

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Determining How to Build the Right Safety Team for Your Facility

Building the right safety team can be challenging because it takes people with great core values, knowledge of the regulations and standards, critical thinking skills, common sense, and an open mind.  Safety is measured by statistics, but just because people aren’t getting hurt doesn’t mean the facility is safe.

Employees are the most valuable company resource, so workplace safety must be held as the top priority for any operation.  One of the three lies people tell themselves is Safety 1st.  This tends to be forgotten or prioritized lower when customer demand increases, skilled labor decreases, and profits decline.

Specifications like ANSI and ISO standards were created to define how to properly protect workers from hazards.  OSHA at the state and federal levels were created to enforce these standards.  Unfortunately, OSHA regulations were written with blood because companies put these standards into effect reactively.  This may seem harsh, but the point needs to be made clear due to the high level of accidents per year from poor workplace safety conditions as solidified in the OSHA top 10 most-cited violations list.

In order to improve these conditions, the right safety team must be assembled to properly evaluate and execute plans to improve workplace safety.  No matter how many standards, rules, and regulations are created and enforced, if you don’t have the right team in place, it could all be irrelevant.  Standards are written in a way left open to some interpretation to the countless variations of custom equipment in each category.  This interpretation needs to be translated by safety personnel that understand the regulations to the workers responsible for the maintenance and operation of the machines.  At the same time, the machine processes and interactions need to be explained to the safety personnel so both sides can come together and collaborate on creating the best or most effective solution.  You also need to have a high-level exec with the authority to approve the plans to ensure progress moves forward.

Another key factor in pulling the right team together is finding and inviting in the source responsible for performing the workplace safety improvements.  Due to the lack of time and the current decline of skilled trade, the company in need of the improvements are only able to help by offering administrative assistance and perspective related to the workplace.  In an effort to provide long term, consistent support, a company focused on turnkey machine safety solutions is highly recommended.

Once the team is assembled, the focus switches to how change can be affected in a positive manner.  First thing is to collectively create a mission statement defined by the vision of the desired outcome.  Then you must determine roles and responsibilities of each team member based around their expertise of each person.  As everyone gets on the same page, then general tasks should be created per the scope of the projects, which create a chain reaction of scheduled meetings, documentation and procedures, execution of the safety projects, media outlets to the employees and proper training all with a point person facilitating the project(s).

Once everything is in place, informing the employees is critical, which can be done by newsletters, internal memos and emails, company meetings, etc…  The proper training must follow to ensure proper use of the new safety measures.  Employees are an extension of the core team, so companies need to make sure they are encouraged to participate through suggestions and feedback before, during, and after the process.  Safety is everyone’s responsibility!  Following these tips when building a collaborative team that is focused on Safety 1st will be integral in improving workplace safety and employee morale.

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Professional Safety Journal (PSJ)

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/ykSDupDmbXE

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

What is personal protection equipment (PPE) and how does it provide the proper safety to employees in an industrial facility?

Personal protection equipment or PPE is any type of equipment worn to protect a person from bodily harm to possible infection. These hazards could be electrical, mechanical, biohazard, or physical in nature. Ear plugs, safety glasses, and steel toed boots are typically the most common PPE equipment worn by workers in facilities where these hazards occur. PPE can be further subcategorized into job-specific related equipment. All PPE provides a barrier of some sort to protect the wearer from the hazards of their environment in a variety of applications, which include machine hazards along with environmental hazards. While workers will complain about the requirement of a facility in using PPE, a good design of these products and correct fitting will lessen the burden and encourage their continued use. Types of Personal Protection Equipment, just to name a few, are:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Ear plugs or earmuffs
  • Steel toe boots, steel toe shoes, or shoe covers
    • Metatarsal covers may be required
  • Hard hats or bump caps
  • Hi-vis vests or hi-vis shirts
  • Welding masks and welding jackets
  • Sleeves
  • Cut gloves (various levels of protection)
  • Face shields, respirators, and masks
  • Hair nets, beard nets, and smocks or gowns
  • Fall protection harnesses
  • Electrical specific:
    • Grounding straps
    • Arc flash clothing
    • Insulating rubber gloves
    • Insulating sleeves
    • Flame-resistant clothing

These PPE requirements in industrial facilities across the country must be followed by any visitor or on-site contractor.  Additional requirements may be required such as hand washing and sanitation, boot scrub and sanitation, and removal of jewelry. 

Check out the OSHA regulations on PPE:

It is everyone’s responsibility to improve workplace safety by understanding the PPE requirements of the facilities they’re in and do their part in protecting themselves as well as others. This includes experienced contractors when installing machine guarding systems in any industrial facility.

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/-68VuQFOLB4

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

PowerSafe Automation is considered a proud U.S. partner with the ReeR Safety brand, a distinguished manufacturer of electronic safety devices

PowerSafe Automation offers turnkey solutions for machine safety systems and industrial automation applications.  Elevated premier services are offered ranging from custom design thru nationwide installations, which include the integration of electronic safety devices into the customer’s machines. Projects are designed with these electronic safety devices taking a basic machine guard and turning it into a “true” safety guard.  To accomplish this, we have developed a partnership with the ReeR Safety brand.  ReeR is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art electronic safety devices of over 50 years located in Italy. 

ReeR Safety offers a wide range of products include safety light curtains, safety laser scanners, safety interlock switches, safety relays and safety controllers, encoders for speed monitoring safety systems, and all the required hardware, cables, and accessories required for electrical integration.  The safety light curtains are offered as standard, muting, or blanking styles, covers finger, hand, and body protection as well as explosion proof requirements and watertight light curtains used for washed down applications.  The safety laser scanner is the world’s smallest scanner allowing for tight placement locations protecting from material handling traffic.  The safety switches include the world’s smallest non-contact RFID type switches and locking solenoid keyed switches.  The wide range of safety relays and Mosaic programmable safety controllers allow for easy integration of all the electronic safety devices offered. 

ReeR Safety brand light curtains for electronic machine safety systems.
Safety Light Curtains
RFID non-contact safety switches and contactless safety sensors for machine guarding access doors.
Non-Contact Safety Switches
ReeR brand safety relays, safety controllers, and interfaces for electronic guarding devices.
Safety Relays and Safety Contollers
Integrated safety solutions for systems such as speed monitoring and timer delayed door locking.
Custom Integrated Safety Devices

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/O0b6ImB5kI4

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Understanding and identifying the needs for an emergency stop system

An emergency stop, also known as a kill switch, is an electronic device which latches mechanically and is used to provide an instant stop command to the machine controls. It is a mechanism used to shut off a section of the machine or the entire machine when an emergency situation is present. Emergency stops can either be wired or wireless units and is used in conjunction with a safety relay.

Wired emergency stops should have a ring label behind the button and can be conveniently wired with an M12 quick disconnect cable. Some emergency stop buttons come with a key slot as added security to ensure the control stays in the engaged position until it is unlocked by a particular operator or maintenance tech. Wired e-stops can also be supplied as just the button without the enclosure so it can be used in a Nema 12 or 4x enclosure when build custom safety controls.

A low profile wireless emergency stop pendant can be worn by the operator allowing for engaged outside of just the point of operator which communicates back to a control base module installed in the machine control panel. It covers a long range area and has a 12 hour range rechargeable LiON battery to extend the life of the unit.

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/jQxbSNLEUHg

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Explaining and informing a request to enter machine guarding safety system

A request to enter machine guarding safety system is a system restricting operator access to the hazardous zones until the area and / or machine is free from any moving parts and the stored energy deenergized. This will ensure the area is clear of any pinch points, shear points, and crush points relying on machine controls vs the operator decision making process.

Typically a modular machine guarding door or access panel is equipped with a locking solenoid safety interlock switch. A request to enter button is then installed into the circuit to notify the machine to finish its cycle and grant the operator access. Once this has been executed, then the machine will send a signal to the locking solenoid switch and unlock the door or access panel. This can be achieved several ways. One is in a timer-based system, engaging a timer within a safety controller which is based on the machine stop time. Another method is installing encoders on the machine and monitoring for a zero-speed condition.

These systems can be found on any perimeter guarding or machine enclosures where the machine doesn’t stop instantly when the emergency stop button is engaged, such as stamping and punch presses, robotic work cells, extruders, coil slitting machines, web converting equipment to name a few.

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Listen to this video at https://youtu.be/q9TrfR8Dr20

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872