By Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media
Accidents happen all the time, and knowing how saf you are every minute can be difficult. You can plan and buy the safest car, build the toughest house on the block and wear protective gear, but you cannot pinpoint the time and date of an accident. Taking steps to protect yourself and the environment you are in, before an accident happens, is the best solution. Yet, knowing how many safety measures to take is tricky. It's even more so in an industrial environment.
If you sell machines into the processing industries, you know safety is a serious matter. Accidents in industrial environments are far more lethal, like the recent West Virginia mining accident or the December 2009 plant explosion in Belvidere, Illinois. In industrial environments, designing and building machines and safety systems efficiently and knowing how to monitor this equipment is what makes a defining difference in life-and-death situations.
In our article, "Safety Adds Complexity and Function" (www.ControlDesign.com/safetyadds), contributor Phil Burgert writes that machine builders and system integrators have the ability to solve many safety issues with safety system equipment. However, this same equipment presents problems when it comes to determining which safety levels end users should employ.
Both machine safety devices and safety systems are integral parts in the decision-making process for machine design or upgrade. Learn more about the decision-making process for machine designs and how to determine machine safety levels by reading this article.
If you are interested in finding out more about the complexity of machine systems, visit our article, "Machine Safety Incorporates Relays, PLCs, Risk Assessment and Standards" (www.ControlDesign.com/safetyincorporates), written by Executive Editor Jim Montague. In this article, Montague reports that the best way to protect the safety of your operators and machines is by achieving appropriate safety integrity levels. This, in combination with adequate performance requirements, constant safety level implementations, thorough training and continuous evaluation of safety systems will maintain your plant in a safe operating condition.
How can machine safety be a bit easier? Contributor Loren Shaum tackles this question as he explores how different machine builders take on machine safety standards. His article, "Machine Safety Made (a Bit) Easier" (www.ControlDesign.com/easiersafety), discusses how different machines have different standards to follow. The important challenge suppliers must meet is safety consistency from one machine type to another. Read this article to find out how different machines with different standards meet one common machine safety level.
Following safety measures can save your life and the lives of those working around you.