Questions about Machine Safety

"Though April safety rules and audits may come your way, they bring the risk assessments, safeguarding and new efficiencies that bloom in May."

Well, that's not really how the old song goes, but it's a fair approximation of the proactive trend going on in machine safety in the past few years. And as usual, this year's "machine safety" cover article is scheduled to run in the May 2012 issue of Control Design. So, if you or anyone you know might have some expert commentary or end user examples, I would love to hear about them. The main questions I'm trying to cover are below. Please e-mail me at or call (620) 625-1125 or (847) 404-6658 to set up an interview in the next few weeks.

Thanks ahead of time for your help.

  1. 1. What is the state of machine safety these days and what trends do machine builders and integrators need to be most aware of? 
  2. How can builders and integrators conduct a useful risk assessment of their machine to decide what kind of safety system it needs? 
  3. What standards do they need to comply with? 
  4. What liability aspects do they need to know about to avoid getting sued? 
  5. How can they handle safety requirements that differ between nations? Can they build one machine for several markets or do they have to build different devices for each? 
  6. Once you choose a machine safety system, how do you implement it and update it in the future? 
  7. Do you have any specific examples or case studies of builders who have been through this process and dealt with these questions who could relate their experience and provide some advice? 
  8. How is machine safety likely to evolve in the future?