Who Is Responsible for Machine Safety?

A machine can be designed such that it is safe in all instances but virtually unusable in day-to-day plant operations. Such a machine will inevitably have some or all of its safety features disabled by plant operations and maintenance personnel. A machine can also be designed such that all shutdown decisions are left in the hands of operators, unfairly burdening them with split second life-or-death decisions. The May issue of Control Design discusses these issues in detail (Proceed with Caution), but we would like to pose a question on-line. Namely: 1. Who bears primary responsibility for machine safety? Is it the machine buider or is it their customer?