Archive of Safety - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 2)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 18, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Machine Safety is Important to Productivity and Reducing CostsThis trail of breadcrumbs has led us back to ISO 13849-1:2006, Safety of Machinery – Safety-Related Parts of Control Systems. This new standard is the basis for the PL and B10d ratings you see on many safety devices today. The ratings are ranked “a” through “e” in increasing risk to the operator, with “e” being the greatest risk. Within this standard, the EN-954 categories for circuit types survive, but are only part of the implementation. More comm...

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Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 1)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 11, 2012 @ 11:17 am

A few years ago, I was working with an internal integration group for a manufacturing company which had facilities in many domestic and international locations. One of the initiatives I had undertaken was to redevelop procedures for assessing safety hazards on automated equipment. Safety_WorkPlace_MachineWith the planned adoption of the International Standards Organization document ISO:13849-1:2006, the older EN-954 standard was slated for retraction by the European Standards Organization. Anticipating this retraction, we needed to take another look at our own risk analysis and mitigation procedures in order to maintain complia...

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4 Rules For Designing Safety into Control Systems

Posted by Brad Ems on November 13, 2012 @ 9:47 am

When you see a talk about safety, your first expectation is probably something on proper PPE, procedures or other aspects of safety that are typical fodder for safety “toolbox talks.” What I’d like to discuss in this post, at least in a very general way, is how to design safety into your process control system. First off, a disclaimer: I am an engineer, although not (yet) a PE and I have no certification in any safety-related field. I do have roughly 30 years of experience in working around heavy equipment, much of it quite dangerous to life, limb, and property if the risks are not properly ...

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Fine-Tuning Your Alarm Management System

Posted by Bruce Brandt on June 5, 2012 @ 10:45 am

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, alarm management has moved once again into the forefront for many companies as they ask: “What is the best way to keep an operator from missing a key alarm when things start to go wrong? What are the obstacles to having an effective alarm management system?” In my experience, the decision to have, or not have, an alarm is more often cultural than it is based on a good operational analysis of the process. That’s why the alarm rationalization process is so necessary and beneficial. It strips away the cultural, “I want the operator to know about…” and replaces it with, “This is the most important thing the operator has to do.” Many plant personnel do not appreciate just how significant this change is. Almost from the introduction of the DCS, its ability to generate more alarms than a human can effectively deal with was not ap...

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Key Safety Metrics

Posted by Gene Niewoehner on January 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

You can tell a lot about a company, by taking a quick look at their annual report and website. In today’s economy, it’s the results that count — that’s easy to understand —but leading companies take a more holistic approach to measuring safety. If you can only find results or lagging measures, look elsewhere; the lagging measures are functionally useless when it comes to evaluating a company’s future success. Instead, look for companies that provide results along with proactive or leading measures. When you find one, you’ve likely found a company known for its product or service quality, customer service, productivity and financial success. There are many ways to measure success, but I believe quality, service, productivity, financial, and environmental, health and safety are all linked through a company’s systems and culture. Break one link, and the company will exper...

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