Machine builders can attempt to avoid accidents by making sure their machines are not only safe, but also designed for ease-of-use and maintenance. This means making realistic assumptions about how accidents may happen and how an operator will respond to potential hazardous situations.
Here's a start. According to Dan Hebert, PE, technical writer for Control Design, these are the top five reasons machine accidents may happen:
1. Machines are not built and tested with proper safety systems, interlocks and alarms
2. Safety features are too cumbersome and are removed by end users
3. End users are not properly trained
4. Plant production needs takes precedence over safety
5. Plant operators are unfairly expected to make split-second shutdown decisions
Hebert goes over these reasons and more in his article, "Proceed with Caution: Discussing thoughtful safety design," which outlines how thoughtful safety design can yield productive machines that are easy to operate and maintain.
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