Decoding Machine Safety: Understanding Ranking Protocols
- Chris Soranno (SICK Inc.)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- December 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 28 - 37
- 2015. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 23 since 2007
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- Many of the nomenclatures used in industry standards for machines rely on seemingly simple ranking systems; however, because many of the classifications utilize alphabetical or numerical designators, confusion is common.
- As is the case in many specific fields of study, one must first be familiar with the basic expressions that are often used in order to speak intelligently about a given topic.
- This article is a primer for those looking for a single reference source to understand this seemingly confusing lexicon.
When OSH personnel and controls engineers collaborate with suppliers to implement protective measures for industrial equipment, the discussion can quickly get off track, as various terminologies and jargon are used, often with little to no true understanding of what the terms actually mean. Often, the only way to decipher these code words has been to track down the appropriate standard for context. This article is a primer for those looking for a single reference source to understand this seemingly confusing lexicon.
As is the case in many specific fields of study, one must first be familiar with the basic expressions that are often used to speak intelligently about a given topic, and industrial safety is no different. In the safety marketplace, safety standards are heavily relied on to present basic concepts and specific definitions to establish common ground. Many of the nomenclatures used in these standards rely on seemingly simple ranking systems; however, because many of the classifications utilize alphabetical or numerical designators (Figure 1), confusion is common.
Stratification of Safety Standards
Most safety standards aim to provide the audience (readers) with an overall framework and guidance for decisions during the entire life cycle of machinery to enable them to maintain machines that are safe for their intended use. Many standards- developing organizations use the following structure (Figure 2):
- Type-A standards (basic safety standards) contain basic concepts, principles for design and general aspects that can be applied to machinery.
- Type-B standards (generic safety standards) deal with one safety aspect or one type of safeguard that can be used across a wide range of machinery: a) Type-B1 standards cover particular safety aspects (e.g., safety distances, surface temperature, noise); b) Type-B2 standards cover a safeguarding device (e.g., two-hand controls, interlocking devices, pressure-sensitive devices, guards).
- Type-C standards (machine safety standards) contain detailed safety requirements for a particular machine or group of machines.
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