Hot Air & Slippery Stuff 110

Machinery Safeguards – and operations.

A recent study by the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA) found that manufacturing accounted for 26% of work related hospitalizations and 57% of work related amputations – both higher than any other “industry” in the United States.

Statistics such as these explain why, for both OEMs and end-users, there is considerable interest and focus today on improving production machinery safety. It is vital for manufacturing companies to ensure the safety and heath of their employees who are engaged in the installation, operation, adjustment, repair and maintenance of production equipment.

The sudden introduction of air into a pneumatic system, (or a sudden release of pressurized fluid into a hydraulic system) can cause an unexpected motion of components. This increases the danger to workers and risk of damage to the machinery itself.

That fluid introduction (or release) causes the products retained by jigs, fixtures, or clamps to move or drop – resulting in damage, spills, lost product, and scrap.

By trying to avoid this damage and maintain the expected output, some operators may be tempted to allow some machinery to remain active, or on-line, when it shouldn’t be, thereby inadvertently exposing themselves, their operations and their employees to increased risk of injury or worse.

Knowledge is power. Lack of knowledge working around machinery is a fools errand.