Tailored Safety for Educational Institutions
Procter Machine Safety is a leading manufacturer of machine guards, with a long history of supplying standard and bespoke machine guards to schools, colleges, universities, educational and training establishments, as well as research organisations and R&D departments in manufacturing companies. From our base in South Wales, we operate throughout the UK, mainland Europe, the USA the Middle East and elsewhere. With our expertise and experience in this field, customers trust us to create standards-compliant guarding that provides the necessary protection yet is cost-effective and does not affect usability.
Ensuring Compliance and Protection
Our capability extends beyond the design, manufacture and installation of the physical guarding to include related aspects of control systems – such as guard switches, safety light curtains, pressure-sensitive mats, emergency stop pushbuttons, and so on. If required, we can design and implement the complete safety-related control system, including on-site wiring and commissioning.
Where research involves large machinery or test rigs, we can install custom-designed access platforms, walkways, guard rails, stairs and fixed ladders. These help to ensure compliance with the Work at Height Regulations and can prove far more economical than alternatives such as hiring scaffolding.
If the research requires a high degree of cleanliness, we can also supply modular clean rooms.
Our machine guards comply with relevant standards, which include the following as a minimum for machinery used in Europe:
- EN ISO 12100
- EN ISO 14120
- EN ISO 13857
Similar standards apply in other geographical regions, and we always provide fully compliant guards wherever our customers are based.
For schools, colleges, universities and other training facilities in the UK, we follow the guidance in BS 4163.
In addition, we comply with any in-house standards or codes of practice requested by the customer or research sponsor.
Using our state-of-the-art CNC punch press, press brake, welding and finishing plant, we can manufacture and assemble any type of guards for conventional or special-purpose machines. We work with mild steel, welded wire mesh, aluminium, stainless steel, polycarbonate and other materials – for example, our acoustic enclosures incorporate specialist sound-dampening materials. Mild steel guards can be hot-dip galvanised and/or polyester powder coated for a high-quality finish and long-lasting protection against corrosion.
Note that our ISO 9001 Quality Management System covers the design, manufacture and installation of machine guards.
Are machine guards necessary in a non-manufacturing environment?
Health and safety legislation places responsibilities on employers to safeguard their workers, which includes those undertaking research; and as far as the law is concerned, students at all types of educational establishment should be treated as ‘workers’. Every organisation also has a moral obligation to protect people using their facilities and equipment.
New and existing machines are covered as follows:
- New machines must be CE marked to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
Existing machines must be assessed when first put into use and periodically thereafter to ensure compliance with PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations).
Both the Machinery Directive and PUWER require suitable safeguards to be in place.
Although the Machinery Directive has an exemption for ‘machinery specially designed and constructed for research purposes for temporary use in laboratories’, a risk assessment should be conducted and it is likely that at least some safeguards will be necessary. We can assist with such risk assessments and recommend guarding that will reduce risks to a level that the HSE would find acceptable.
The main advantages of outsourcing the guarding to Procter Machine Safety can be summarised as:
- Save money – our specialists can design and manufacture the guarding more economically
- Save time – our design and manufacturing teams are set up specifically for producing machine guarding
- Standards compliance – our designers have a detailed working knowledge of the relevant standards
- Avoid over-engineering – our designers have a wealth of relevant industry experience and an unbeatable knowledge of what the HSE would expect to see in terms of reducing risks to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’
- Better resource utilisation – in other words, let your staff focus on what they do best, rather than being tied up designing, manufacturing and installing guarding
In educational and research laboratories, a variety of machinery may require guarding. We offer:
- Bespoke close-fitting sheet metal guards
- Bespoke close-fitting guards with welded wire mesh or polycarbonate infill
- Modular perimeter guarding in steel or aluminium
- Bespoke acoustic enclosures that double as machine guards
We also provide safety devices like interlocks, guard switches, key-exchange systems, safety light curtains, pressure-sensitive edges, pressure-sensitive mats, and more.
Access Platforms and More
For tasks that require working at height, we can design and install custom access platforms, walkways, guard rails, stairs, fixed ladders, and more. These solutions help you comply with the Work at Height Regulations while ensuring safety.
Comprehensive service for machine guarding and access platforms
Our service covers all of the following, or you can just select the elements required:
- machine surveys
- site surveys
- risk assessments
- PUWER inspections
- stakeholder consultations
- electrical integration of safety light curtains and other electrical items
- design of safety-related control systems
- modification of existing safety-related control systems to accommodate new safety devices
Our standard workshop machine guards are designed for easy installation by customers but we can install these and connect the guard switches if you are retrofitting a number of machines in a workshop. For close-fitting guards, perimeter guards and access platforms, we normally undertake the installation as part of our end-to-end service. Customers benefit from our installation service as follows:
- our fitters are highly experienced
- a large team of fitters enables installations to be completed very quickly
- electrical items are connected in compliance with the necessary standards
- installation at times that are convenient for the customer – including overnight, at weekends, during holidays and at shutdowns