Safety Devices and Considerations
Safety is paramount in all things, and manufacturing systems are no exemption. Machine designers must take OSHA standards into account at all turns, to protect the company and the employees. Thankfully, there’s a huge variety of pre-existing components that you can utilize to isolate energy sources and improve machine safety.
Lockout/tagout (LOTO) devices are a common, simple addition that greatly maximizes systemic safety. Common versions include padlocks, tags, and hasps, all of which can be used to lock a machine or component into a depowered or “off” position. This means that machines cannot be unintentionally powered on.
- Locks use a single padlock to enforce manual locking/unlocking routines before and after you use a machine.
- Tags employ coded colors and written details to provide easy visual indicators for the status of a machine or component.
- Hasps are found in isolation points where multiple people may be required to permit operation, such as an operations manager and the machine operator.
Two-hand control devices require two hands to initiate every work sequence. This ensures operators are at a safe distance from the workspace and makes it difficult to accidentally activate a machine.
Footswitches or pedals fill a similar niche to two-hand controls but are frequently employed in operations where hands-free operation is ideal. This includes routers, conveyors, and presses.
Emergency stop or e-stop devices utilize buttons, switches, chains, ropes, and other similarly basic interactions to override all machine functions if a sudden, full stop is necessary. These devices are usually brightly colored and placed in easy-to-access spaces. Some e-stops require a key to activate, adding an extra layer of protection against accidental full stops.
Other ready-to-install safety devices include:
- Exhaust valves
- Air reservoirs
- Safety mats
- Relay units
- Limit switches
- Soft-start valves
Need to factor safety devices into your latest application? Speak to one of our experts today to learn more!