Study machine safety systems;
Risk control of machinery and equipment hazards
Risk control of general hazards Where exposure to machinery and equipment hazards cannot be eliminated or substituted for machinery and equipment of improved design, risk controls must be applied to the hazards to prevent or reduce the risk (chance) of injury or harm. Workplace health and safety laws require the highest order control be applied.
Higher order machinery and equipment risk controls are preventative by nature, are effective and durable for the environment it is used in, and deal directly with the hazard at its source.
Lower order machinery and equipment risk controls, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), can prevent injuries, but are generally not as effective as higher order controls, as they rely more on worker behaviour, maintenance programs and supervision.
Administrative controls use systems of work to reduce risk by providing a framework of expected behaviours. Examples are rotation of staff to reduce exposure to a hazard, or a documented safe system of work, such as ‘lockout tagout’. These types of controls rely on extensive instruction, information, training and supervision. In terms of time and ongoing administration by managers and employers to ensure the desired behaviour occurs, administrative controls can be the most expensive and least effective form of hazard control.
Note: The use of PPE and administrative controls are low or last order controls used to deal with any residual risk associated with the hazard. As such, these last order controls can be used in support of higher order controls that deal with a hazard at its source and should not be considered as the sole means of control. These types of risk controls require constant monitoring and reinforcement.
Effective machinery and equipment risk controls reflect some or all of the following characteristics:
• the hazard is controlled at its source
• contact or access to the hazard is prevented
• sturdy construction (correct materials with few points of potential failure)
• fail-safe (failure of the control system to be effective will result in machinery shut-down)
• tamper-proof design (as difficult as possible to bypass)
• presents minimum impediment to machinery and equipment operator
• easy to inspect and maintain
• does not introduce further hazards through the risk control action