Machine hazards and risk assessment

TREOTHAM Automation has introduced a dedicated service for performing risk assessment on any sort of machines - not only in relation to its control products but also the mechanical aspects of the unit.

TREOTHAM Automation has introduced a dedicated service for performing risk assessment on any sort of machines – not only in relation to its control products but also the mechanical aspects of the unit.

This new service sees the company’s electrical engineer, Raju Kotecha, going on-site to make detailed inspection and analysis on a company’s most likely machine hazards.

“We believe this is a rather unique service because what we do is made a complete analysis and an offer the client a prescription rather than an ambiguous multi page report,” Mr Kotecha said.

“A service like this is well overdue because more often than not – perhaps due to complacency more than anything else – aspects of machine safety are given lip service, so in the current era big companies are very fearful of the cost of accident.

“It’s a black box for most people; in fact most operators don’t know what they need. Because they have been working a machine for a long time they underestimated the risk associated with it.”

Some of the more common sites see machines operating with no guards or manipulation of the guards, or by passing over the guards.

Many people have pressure during production, and when the machine breaks down they tend not to follow the proper safety procedure to save time.

Some business owners have been doing things the same way for 20 years and don’t realise they’re doing it wrong.

For example, most Australian OH&S Regulations and Acts demand risk assessment on the machine regardless of the machine’s age.

Assessment can be performed regardless of the energy sources on the machine: electrical, pneumatics, hydraulics, coolant or cooled water.

In a recent risk assessment at a Sydney fabrication plant, the following problem areas were identified:

* Non-compliant hinged guard switches

* Non-interlocked fly wheel guards

* Missing fasteners

* Unintended exposure to moving parts

* Non-compliant pneumatics safety switches.

Treotham Automation’s risk assessment for this company outlined the severity of potential injury, particularly those in relation to moving parts of the machine.

The assessment determined frequency of exposure and/or exposure time to each hazard, the possibility of injury avoidance, and provided a categorised selection for safety-related parts of the control systems.

It also outlined hazardous events which were most likely to cause an accident and the existing measures already taken to prevent potential hazards with moving parts.

Treotham Automation also provides a ‘risk matrix’ outlining the potential severity of injuries, frequency of exposure and/or exposure time to the hazard time, the possibility of avoiding the hazard, and categories for safety related parts of control systems.

Risk control recommendations are then made to guide the machine owner on the best way of maximising safety levels around the machine.

Treotham Automation 02 9907 1788.

www.treotham.com.au