The safety of the American workplace has improved dramatically over the past 30 years. This improvement is directly correlated with the adoption and enforcement of OSHA regulations (OSHA, “OSHA Facts”). However, despite the great strides that have been achieved, some industry sectors continue to produce unnecessarily high numbers of serious and preventable injuries.
Machine-related injuries are responsible for nearly half of the thousands of amputation injuries that occur each year. Most machine injuries are preventable through known methods that are well documented. For most machines, OSHA provides guarding and operational requirements that are very general and broadly applicable. However, in the case of mechanical power presses the codes are quite specific and intended to address the specific hazards associated with such presses.
This study proposes that the OSHA codes related to mechanical power presses are adequate and address most of the guarding concerns, but employers often fail to comply with the codes, apparently out of a lack of understanding of their implementation. It is hypothesized that an effective tool to help guide personnel through the evaluation of press safety hazards will improve the likelihood of an individual in accurately identifying press hazards.
Based on the perceived need, a software tool was developed to assist in the hazard identification process. This tool was tested experimentally to determine its effectiveness. The hazard evaluation performance of a software-assisted group of novices was compared with the performances of a peer group and a group of press professionals, both comparison groups using traditional evaluation methods (specifically ANSI B11.TR3). Each of the experimental groups evaluated three different mechanical power presses.
The hazards identified by each experimental group were to address the specific requirements of the applicable OSHA codes for guarding of mechanical power presses (29CFR1910.212 and 29CFR1910.217). The accuracy and completeness of the experimental data were evaluated against those specific codes. The experimental results strongly indicate that the use of the SafetyNET software can allow an individual with no specialized background with mechanical power presses to perform more effective hazard assessments on mechanical power presses than might be achieved with traditional assessment techniques. The SafetyNET users performed assessments that were demonstrably more complete and accurate than those performed by either comparison group using traditional methods.
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|Department:||Industrial and Systems Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Hazard assessment, Machine design, Machine safety, Mechanical power presses, Osha, Safety assessment|
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