Saturday, June 11, 2016

Machine Emergency Plans

CSA Z432-04: Safeguarding of Machinery requires precautions for the escape and rescue of trapped persons.

Let’s imagine a potentially horrific situation.  You have a worker become trapped inside a piece of equipment.  Your immediate thoughts are I need to get this person out of this machine as quickly as possible and get them some help.  This is the first place you need to start.  Do you know the quickest and safest way to get a person trapped in any of your pieces of equipment?  Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

1.       Will I require power in order to move the machine to release the worker, or will I need it off to disassemble it? 

2.       If power is shutoff will potential energy be controlled, can something move?

3.       Can I reverse the movement of the machine in order to free the worker, or does it need to complete a cycle?

4.       Do I need special tools to take apart the machine? 

5.       Are they readily available?

Caution, these are not all the questions you need to ask, but a starting point.  An emergency plan is unique to a piece of equipment because every piece of equipment can be used differently.  The tools to be used for a rescue might be unique to each piece of equipment.  Jacks that could be used to lift machine parts need to be sized for a particular type of equipment.  Your emergency plan should contain not only procedures, but a list of tools that might be required for a rescue.  Also a team should be formed to help draft and execute that plan if needed.  All of the local emergency numbers for outside help (ambulance, fire, etc) should be noted on this plan.

A Machine Emergency Plan starts first with the strategy.  Sit down with your safety committee and the key stakeholders, including operators and maintenance personnel.  Document the plan and review it with the team.  Work through all the possibilities that the team can come up with.  Review the risk assessment to see if the major hazards have been covered.  Next practice that plan, run drills with your team to make sure the plan is understood and everything is in place.  Finally assign a team to the plan.  These could be members of your plant emergency team, or you could have a different team just for machinery emergencies.

Having an emergency plan could make the difference between a minor injury and an amputation or worse.  If you would like to schedule some time with us to talk further about this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 8:13 PM 0 Comments
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