Efficient Plant June 2018 - 17

safety matters risk assessment

A RISK ASSESSMENT is used in
machine safety to identify, document,
eliminate, or reduce hazards in a particular
piece of equipment or process. While it's
always best to refer to relevant standards
when planning a risk assessment, automation experts with Banner Engineering,
Minneapolis (bannerengineering.com),
offer answers to several commonly asked
questions. As the company notes, however,
this information is provided only for general educational purposes-and is accurate
only as of the time of publication. Banner
recommends consulting a safety professional about your specific application before
implementing safety measures. 

Q

What is a risk assessment?

Ultimately, a risk assessment is a
process that helps identify:
 potential hazards
 potential severity of hazards
 frequency of exposure to hazards
 strategies to implement to minimize
hazards and avoid harm.
This process is not a quick cure for all
safety issues, nor is it a guarantee of a 100%
injury-free workplace. It is more of a risk
diagnosis and safety prescription used to
document risk in a workplace, help determine an acceptable level of risk, and determine a course of action to mitigate risks.

Q

What steps must be taken in a
risk assessment?

The four fundamental steps in the risk-assessment process are:
1. Identify tasks and the associated hazards
in the workplace.

2. Assess the probability and severity
of harm.
3. Reduce the risk of harm by eliminating the
hazard or using safeguarding methods.
4. Document the process and the results.
Through the risk-assessment process and
the documentation it produces, a machine
manufacturer and an employer can prove
due diligence in providing a safe workplace
and a quality product.

Everything
should be assessed,
not just potential
hazards.
Priority should
always be given to
the highest risk
hazard.

Q

What standards should be
followed?

There are many standards. Among them:
 ANSI/RIA R15.06 -1999, Safety Requirements for Industrial Robots and Robot
Systems
 ANSI B11 TR3, Risk Assessment and Risk
Reduction
 ISO 14121(EN 1050), Principles of Risk
Assessment
 OSHA 3071 Job Hazard Analysis
 IEC 812 FMEA.
Also refer to EN 1050 and ISO 13849-1,
which outline the process of risk assessment
and specific categories of safety equipment.

Opposite page. Reducing potential for harm by eliminating hazards or using safeguarding methods is an
important part of the risk-assessment process.

JUNE 2018

Standards help define a cohesive strategy
or approach to the risk-assessment process, which, if followed, can lead to better
decisions and more efficient utilization of
resources.

Q

Does OSHA endorse any certain standard?

While the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, Washington (osha.gov),
does not provide a prescription, it does provide the objective. It is a general expectation
that industry-recognized abatement methods will be applied whenever and wherever
feasible.

Q

Who is responsible for conducting a risk assessment?

In the United States, ANSI standards
(American National Standards Institute,
Washington, ansi.org) that define Risk
Assessment, such as B100.0 2010 and RIA
15.06 2012, assign safety responsibilities to
the machine supplier and the user. 
OSHA strongly recommends that a risk
assessment be conducted, that it should
include implementation of a risk-mitigation
plan, and that the entire process should be
thoroughly documented to demonstrate due
diligence. 
In the European Union, machine suppliers are primarily responsible for ensuring
that a safe machine is shipped. They will
typically be the parties that conduct basic
risk assessments.

Q

Who should be involved in the
risk-assessment process?

Choose a diverse and well-respected
group of individuals. Operators, maintenance, electrical, mechanical engineers, shift
leads, production supervisors, and health
EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

17


http://www.bannerengineering.com http://www.osha.gov http://www.ansi.org http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

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