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Reducing Risk, Protecting People

How to Test Your Machine Guard Openings Effectively

Posted by Clarion Safety Systems | 1st Sep 2023

In the world of workplace safety, precision and accuracy with quality risk assessments can mean the difference between a safe work environment and potential injury. That's where our digit test hand comes into play, revolutionizing the way we evaluate and mitigate safety hazards in various industries. Growing in popularity through our audience at Machine Safety Specialists (MSS), we’ll delve into the details of this safety device, exploring its features, applications, and the enhanced safety it brings to the workplace and testing of your machines.

Understanding the Test Hand’s Safety Compliance
The digit test hand is a cutting-edge safety device designed to improve the precision of risk assessments while ensuring the safety of those conducting these assessments. This tool closely mimics the anatomy of a human hand, making it suitable for evaluating a wide range of hazards, including abrasion, pinching, cutting, crushing, and amputation risks. What sets the digit test hand apart is its compatibility with recognized risk assessment standards, such as OSHA, ANSI, and ISO 12100. This compatibility helps ensure that your risk assessments are not only accurate but also compliant with industry standards.

The Anatomy of the Digit Test Hand
The digit test hand was developed as a tool by our TÜV certified safety engineers at MSS. It’s constructed using skin-tone polymers, providing a realistic feel and appearance. Beneath the surface, a metal wire skeletal structure mimics the bones and joints of a human hand, adding to its authenticity. This combination of materials allows for the observation of injury severity, a crucial element in risk assessments.

The digit test hand is designed for practicality. It can be reused for multiple assessments (depending on the severity/impact of the hazard), accommodating various angles and configurations. Its soft structure means that it won't damage most machines, making it a versatile tool for assessing risks in different workplace scenarios. Additionally, the comfort grip holder extends the reach to approximately 47 inches, offering flexibility in its application.

Testing Your Machine’s Guards
Utilizing our digit test hand is straightforward, but it must be done with care and by a qualified safety professional. To use the device, you should follow these steps in your testing process:

  1. Prepare the Device: Using the telescoping holder, position the digit test hand at the point of operation where the machine will be operating.
  2. Machine Operation: Allow the machine to operate on the digit test hand, simulating potential risks.
  3. Visual Inspection: After the simulation, visually inspect the digit test hand to determine the severity of injury. Use your risk assessment scale to evaluate the results.

It's crucial to emphasize that the digit test hand should not be used in hazardous situations that could pull in the device or the user, such as high-speed in-running nip points or entanglement hazards.

Observations and Assessment
Once you've simulated a hand or finger injury using the digit test hand, it's time to make observations and assessments. Evaluate the simulated injury and score the applicable risk factors as outlined in the safety standards you’re following. Real-world examples can provide valuable insights into the severity of potential injuries.

While this device does offer a lifelike simulation, it's essential to note that it's not calibrated to anthropometric data and may not produce results indicative of actual hazards. Its use does not guarantee the presence or absence of a hazard. Users must acknowledge the associated risks and take responsibility for the safe and appropriate use of this tool.

Explore More Solutions from MSS and Clarion Safety Systems
Our team at MSS offers a range of solutions to help organizations enhance workplace safety. As our subsidiary, they’re well-equipped to assist machine users and builders with:

  • Machine Safety and Risk Assessments
  • Machine Guarding
  • Functional Safety/Control Reliability
  • Machine Safety and Risk Assessment Training

Keep in mind that working with the MSS team means that you also benefit from the safety sign and label expertise of our Clarion Safety experts, and any services you receive from our MSS engineers can be paired with our visual warnings systems to enhance your overall safety programs.

Visit our website at MSS to stay updated on new machine safety and risk assessment training online course dates, add this test hand to your collection, and learn how we can tailor our services to meet your organization's unique safety needs.

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