Sign up to our newsletter for regular email updates on the latest Guarding news and products

Jeremy Procter, Managing Director of Procter Machine Guarding, outlines the standards pertinent to the safety of packaging machinery.

Procter Machine Guarding has designed, manufactured and installed guarding in one of Europe’s largest automated high-bay warehouses

‘Making paper safely’ is a phrase that has been used within the papermaking industry for around one year now, thanks to a campaign initiated by the HSC (Health and Safety Commission) to improve the safety record of paper mills. The HSC Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (Pabiac), which includes representatives from the industry and unions, last year published new guidance called Part 6, Making paper safely: managing safety in the papermaking process (ISBN 0-7176-1907-9, priced £8.00).

A new section of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website is now online, dedicated to the needs of the printing industry. Each year, printing companies report approximately 1400 work-related accidents to the HSE; over 200 of these accidents are classified as major injuries such as fractures and amputations. Contact with machinery is one of the most common types of accidents suffered by printers, with others being manual handling and slips/trips.

conveyor mesh guards

Conveyors are perhaps the simplest form of automation, transferring parts, assemblies or loose material from one place to another so as to avoid manual handling. Nevertheless, despite their apparent simplicity, conveyors account for a large number of injuries to workers, sometimes with fatal consequences. For example, figures published by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive)*, indicate that in the food and drink industries some 30 per cent of all injuries caused by machinery are attributable to conveyors – which is more than any other class of machine – with 90 per cent of conveyor injuries occurring on flat belt conveyors and 90 per cent of the injuries involving well known hazards such as in-running nips, transmission parts and trapping points between moving and fixed parts. Furthermore, 90 per cent of injuries occur during normal operations such as production activities, clearing of blockages, and general cleaning.

A compact access and control system has been developed that enables a selection of modules including mechanical trapped key interlocks, electrical safety gate switch interlocks, and electrical operator controls to be integrated in one unit. The system features patented mechanical and electrical connections between every module. It simply clips together and the internal network is self-configuring. With over 4000billion combinations of modules it can be easily customised for every access and control application.

At MACH 2006 Procter Bros exhibited the Satech low-cost modular perimeter guarding system for the first time.

Towards the end of January 2005 the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement to promote effective health and safety management across manufacturing industries throughout England, Wales and Scotland, establishing close links between staff operating in every region.

BSI has recently published PD 5304:2005, ‘Guidance on safe use of machinery’ to replace PD 5304:2000 and continue the evolutionary process that began with BS 5304 ‘Code of practice – Safety of machinery’, which many machine builders considered to be the ‘Bible’ as far as machinery safety was concerned.