If your business relies on the use of automation machines, you should know how important it is to keep them serviced. This means not just keeping them functioning well, but also maintaining their safety standards.
Automation machines are used to increase productivity in the workplace. They can complete jobs faster and on a larger scale than humans can due to the amount of weight that they can carry, and their ability to be programmed for specific tasks. They are primarily used in the manufacturing industry to complete repetitive tasks. However, employees are still required to monitor the automaton's work to ensure that everything is in working order and working efficiently.
As there remains an interaction between the machine and employees, it's important to maintain the safety of the machines to ensure that employees are never put in harm's way. If you aren't completely aware of what's required to maintain the safety of your machine, there are automation companies that can assist you in this process. They perform risk assessments as required by Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) standards, identifying any possible hazards and what's needed for the machine to run safely. They then customize a solution that ensures machine safety that can then be implemented.
If you do not perform regular risk assessments, your employees could suffer serious injuries from dangerous machine malfunctions, potentially costing you a fortune in legal fees for not complying with safety standards. Minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes from malfunctioning machines are common, but then they get slightly more serious with broken arms and injured backs due to incorrect movement. At the most serious end of the scale, some injuries can be fatal, with automatons toppling over or swinging around when they haven't been correctly programmed.
Automation is meant to improve productivity, thus increasing profit, but risking the safety of your employees risks the profits you've tried so hard to earn. Assessing your machines' safety is not something that should be glanced over. It's a vital part of working within the automaton industry, and it keeps everyone working safely together.
ó Danielle McAnn works with Automation Solutions, which performs PLC and Fanuc robot programming, integrating vision, and force feedback.