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Providing competent consulting services and litigation support in the fields of industrial, architectural, product and community noise – and machine and facility safety – since 1981.
Contact  at 800-537-7568 or Via Email to esaconsulting@comcast.net

MACHINE SAFETY SURVEYS

Although they are not full-blown risk assessments, as described in ANSI B11-TR3, machine safety surveys provide an overview of safety provisions and operation of individual machines from an experienced and objective viewpoint.

In a typical survey, the operation (task after task) may be observed, along with the condition of the machine and the existing safeguards, and an informal assessment of risk made and documented. Recommendations for risk reduction are provided in a report, along with photographs of the respective machines. We generally allow from 8-15 minutes per machine in the field, plus an equal time for preparation of the report of findings and suggestions.

Our experience and credentials in manufacturing place us in a unique position to not only understand machine operations, but be able to discuss safeguarding options with operators, maintenance personnel, manufacturing and plant engineers and solicit valuable input to aid in the selection of the protective measures that can reduce risk to an acceptable level without a negative impact upon productivity and worker morale.

CASE # 1

A large manufacturer of windows and doors in Minnesota called upon ESA to perform a machine survey of their equipment, some of it very specialized. In this case we walked the production floor for three days, covering this massive plant from one end to the other in the company of engineers and production personnel, discussing each machine and providing training as we proceeded.

At the end of the survey, the client had what he needed to carry on with the upgrade of his machines – and a host of people who had a better understanding of machine safety and applicable regulations and standards.

ESA Machine Survey Pic 1

This “barrel roll” machine poses a safeguarding challenge at a Midwest factory

CASE # 2

In response to a serious accident, we were asked to perform a complete survey of all maintenance shops for a manufacturer of small cars and trucks in California. Again, this effort took several days, starting with an orientation session for top management, and ending the week with a meeting of all affected parties, a summary of our observations, and a Q&A session. The subsequent report documented our findings and suggestions for risk reduction that helped set priorities for action.

ESA Machine Survey Pic 2

A worker wearing gloves sustained a hand injury when the glove caught in the gap between the spinning disc and the workrest

ESA Machine Survey Bob

 ESA’s Bob Andres, CSP, CMfgE, observing operations at a factory in California

 
CASE # 3

When a large manufacturer in Massachusetts ordered a 5000 Ton hydraulic press from Germany, they called ESA to assist in reviewing safeguarding for compliance to US standards – and reducing the excessive noise from the massive hydraulic pumps and reservoir at the top of the three and a half story machine.

We spent several days in Germany meeting with engineers and studying the machine,    the ancillary equipment and existing safeguards. Among other things, we were able to recommend steps to improve guarding at the point of operation, and reduce the noise from the hydraulic system by about 10dBA.

CASE # 4

A trip to Mexico from Syracuse in December is a welcome break, but covering 21 plants in 21 days for this US manufacturer was no vacation.

Again, we started with meetings to define the task, and then proceeded to survey hundreds of machines in every possible scenario, from woodworking to clay molding to metal stamping to small assembly.

Our full report was over 250 pages long with incorporated photos and recommendations.

CASE # 5

Working on a grant with the Rochester Institute of Technology, we surveyed this metal stamping facility in Rochester in a single day, documenting numerous deficiencies that were corrected before an anticipated OSHA visit.

CASE # 6

A near miss at an automotive plant in Alabama brought a call from another consulting firm for whom we had provided assistance in the preparation of training slides for the same corporation.

In this instance the ESA team not only reviewed the physical aspects of machine safety, but analyzed machine control schematics and systems as well, since the incident was allegedly caused by a control malfunction.

Our capabilities in this area have been tapped several times in the past few years at plants from North Carolina to Oklahoma, as we were called upon to look at specific machines to determine control reliability and make suggestions for improvements to reduce risk.

ESA AMchine Survey Pic 4

ESA control safety specialist Dennis Cloutier, CSP,  performs stop-time measurements

                                                                   on this “hands-in-die” hydraulic press at an Alabama manufacturing facility    

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