Keeping workers safe with machine lockouts | WorkSafeProject:
Machine Safety – LOTO (Lock Out Tag Out)
Audit – Goodman Fielder
A critical component of machine safety management is the ability for all equipment to be correctly isolated before any work can be carried out. Reviewing the existing isolation capabilities of your machinery is an important first step in ensuring that the equipment can be correctly isolated. Where shortfalls are identified, these will be highlighted and appropriate recommendations provided. Even when the necessary isolation capabilities already exist, a careful review of these in relation to the equipment operation can provide operational benefits by enabling isolation zones to be created.
To comply with new Lock Out Tag Out policies, Goodman Fielder needed to carry out energy source and LOTO audits on all of their plants across 16 manufacturing sites. LOTO registers and remedial works strategies were required to ensure that all energy sources could be suitably isolated according to the new policy.
We prepared the new programmes, systems and policy compliant templates and mobilised a large team of engineers to carry out these assessments, and then prepared the documentation for nearly 1000 assets.
In January 2021, WorkSafe released guidance about how to use lockouts to safely isolate and de-energise the parts of machinery that could cause harm to workers when servicing this machinery. You can view WorkSafe’s guidance, ‘Keeping workers safe with machine lockouts’, here.
Machine Risk Assessments
TEG Risk’s projects have included carrying out summary risk assessments on more than 10,000 assets, for everything from large-scale, multi-site companies to businesses with a single machine.
Our largest assignment to date was a large meat processor with a national presence across several sites, with thousands of assets reviewed. We mobilised multiple safety engineers and specialists to ensure the programmes could be completed in a timely fashion.
Time is a priority for TEG Risk, as the sooner we can provide your company with the information needed, the sooner you can make your workplace safe and compliant.
The MinRisk App has been used as an effective tool for several assignments – it helps us collect data rapidly in a comprehensive format.
Machine Safety – Validation
TEG Risk has carried out validation activities on numerous pieces of upgraded and new equipment to ensure that they conform to the requirements of AS/NZS4024:2014, the ISO variants and clients’ specific internal standards.
We have multiple validation services and like to be involved from the beginning of the project to validate all relevant factors including concepts, safety-related parts, safety controller software and vendor documentation.
Examples of validations we have carried out include:
- Case packers that were being constructed for global supply to a multi-national food company.
- Large multi-zone robotic palletisers for supply to Middle Eastern food companies,
- Bin tipper designs for mass production and sale into Europe.
Machine Safety Project Management Services
New line design review and procurement support
A large dairy company had an automatic, in-line, legacy waste compactor with multiple high severity hazards. TEG Risk was engaged at the feasibility study stage to undertake a business case assessment and prepare a CAPEX request to address these machine safety risks.
After preparing specification and cost estimates to complete the safeguarding upgrade, TEG Risk used ‘health and safety by design’ and whole-of-life cost (including maintenance costs) to justify and have approved a new compactor and plant layout.
We were also involved in supporting the implementation and ensuring the vendors could supply compliant plant with the supporting verification and validation documentation. The project resulted in an improved workspace and eliminated many of the hazards that needed safeguarding.
TEG Risk was involved in pre-construction design reviews for a large dairy processing company that was installing two new cheese production lines.
We provided in-depth specification advice to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure the American-made equipment would conform to AS/ NZS4024:2014 requirements, and that our client would be provided with the relevant supporting documentation. This work resulted in a much smoother commissioning programme following installation to ensure our client was
Machine Safety Project Management Services
Scoping and Specification
In 2017, following a site-wide risk assessment on a pharmaceutical ingredient plant, we extracted data from The MinRisk App to prepare a mechanical Safety Requirement Specification (SRS) and scope of works document to address numerous mechanical guarding safety risks.
This work was issued for competitive tender and the tender process alone saved the client $45,000. We set up a robust programme to address 127 notifiable machine guarding risks (all would have incurred large fines under official audit).
TEG Risk facilitated the machine safety upgrade, which the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) had no solution for, of a large processed cheese extruder which required frequent operator interactions. We prepared detailed machine risk assessments, design concepts, scope of works and detailed SRS.
This allowed for seamless implementation (noted by the automation and electrical contractors) despite the very small commissioning window. Plant safety has been significantly improved, along with overall efficiency of the plant.