A recent review of machinery safety with a large multi-national company, who has rolled out a “zero access” program world-wide has found:
- Some upgrades lacked adequate consultation with the machine operators, necessitating time consuming and sometimes costly changes.
- Mocking up proposed guards in cardboard first was cheaper and very helpful to demonstrate to operators, and to confirm workability of the upgrades.
- Even high quality (CE marked) equipment needs a full risk assessment and numerous changes to comply with Australian requirements.
- Maintenance and engineering staff are the most likely to be injured on machinery once “zero access” guarding has been provided, through interventions with inadequate isolation e.g. lock-out tag-out (LOTO).
- Maintenance and engineering staff require refresher training (e.g. annually) to maintain the “zero access” and LOTO standards.