Plant Safety Hazard Analysis

March 26, 2013

Understanding the process and value of using an experienced consultant to aid in plant safety hazard analysis when considering machine safety upgrades

What is a safety consultant?

A safety consultant is a professional who is formally educated in a related field and has dedicated a large portion of their professional career to the adoption and application of plant and machine safety standards and receiving continuous education in the field of safety.

A safety consultant is also an active member of multiple professional associations such as:

What is an experienced safety consultant’s role in a machine safety upgrade project?

All plant and machine safety upgrade projects need to begin with a safety assessment. The assessment will determine the hazards involved as well as the means necessary to remediate each hazard thus bringing the machine up to current standards.

Along with performing the assessment, the safety consultant will consider not only what is involved in making the machine safe, but also what is involved in keeping the machine user-friendly and maintaining or improving its current rate of production. All aspects of the facility will be considered including operations, management, engineering, sanitation, maintenance, quality, and logistics in creating a safety solution. This is an iterative process that considers input from all stakeholders to ensure an effective and efficient safety solution.

The final, and arguably most important step, in the project takes place following the remediation. The equipment must be validated to ensure full compliance with the initial assessment and applicable safety standards. It is crucial that the validation procedure is discussed early in the remediation as the formal documentation is provided

This crucial step in the safety process gives the facility a documented assurance that the equipment is up to current safety standards.

What is the value of using an experienced safety consultant?

All project managers have to consider the value and ROI of a safety project and must be able to justify the cost and schedule. Some factors that can be used for justification of a safety upgrade project and using a safety consultant would be:

  • Documentation showing your machine is up to current standards:

– ANSI ISO 12100-1,2 – Safety of Machinery

– ANSI B11.19 – Performance Criteria for Safeguarding

– NFPA 79 – Electrical Standard for Machinery

– ISO 13849-1 – Safety of Machinery – General Principals for Design

– ISO 14121 – Risk Assessment

  • A Certificate of Compliance stating that each machine has been validated to conform to standards
  • Minimal to no change in machine production rate and machine functions

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