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Reducing Risk, Protecting People

Elevating Machinery Risk Assessments with Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks"

Posted by Clarion Safety Systems | 15th Aug 2023

In the intricate landscape of machinery risk assessments, a simple but revolutionary tool is available that aids your approach to safety evaluations. If you haven’t ordered yours already, allow us to introduce our OSHA and ANSI compliant Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks." Our team at Machine Safety Specialists has developed these as a tool to combine OSHA 1910.212 and ANSI B11.19 standards to provide the most restrictive requirements into a single safety scale. Our tool is based on measurements of the human body, and is intended to be representative of finger, hand, and arm. Below, we detail how you can utilize these alongside your risk assessment processes, and highlight our latest edition, ISO and ANSI Safety Scales for international compliance testing.

What Is a “Gotcha Stick”?
A “Gotcha Stick” is a safety scale used to check machine guarding. It’s a tool that’s used to test guard openings for human finger and hand reach to hazards, ensuring that barrier guarding is at a safe distance from the hazard. It physically tests measurements between guard openings and machine hazards, quickly determining if a guard opening is safe and compliant.

Our New ISO/ANSI Gotcha Sticks
We recently released a new version of our OSHA/ANSI Universal Safety Scale which combines the latest version of ANSI B11.19 and EN ISO 13857 for finger and hand measurements through regularly shaped guard openings. This allows for the measuring of safe distances through slotted, square, and round guard openings, with three scales attached together at a pivot point. These, unlike our OSHA/ANSI scales, include measurements for fingers and hands only – not arms.

Harmonizing Safety Assessments and Risk Management

Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks" present an invaluable opportunity to bridge the gap between safety assessments and risk management within industrial settings. These sticks serve as dynamic instruments that align with the principles of risk assessment, allowing for a more refined and focused evaluation of potential hazards.

The Dual Role of Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks"
As workplaces evolve and safety measures continue to advance, the Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks" serve a dual role that aligns with the principles of risk assessment. These tools contribute not only to the identification of potential hazards but also to the quantifiable evaluation of safety mechanisms. They allow for:

  • Precise Hazard Simulation: The sticks are meticulously designed to replicate potential hazards in a controlled environment. This serves as a proactive approach to identifying and assessing risks associated with machinery operation. By simulating scenarios that workers might encounter, "Gotcha Sticks" contribute to a more comprehensive risk assessment process.
  • Quantifiable Safety Testing: The standardized design of these sticks enables quantifiable safety testing across different machinery. This data-driven approach aligns with risk assessment methodologies, providing a measurable basis for evaluating the severity and likelihood of potential hazards.

Benefits of Integrating "Gotcha Sticks" with Risk Assessments
There are many benefits of using “Gotcha Sticks” in the risk assessment process. That includes:

  • Holistic Risk Profiles: By using Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks" during risk assessments, safety professionals can gather insights that contribute to a more holistic understanding of workplace risks. This leads to a more targeted approach in implementing safety measures.
  • Evidence-Based Decisions: The data collected from "Gotcha Stick" simulations offers evidence that can inform decisions related to safety protocols, hazard control measures, and resource allocation.
  • Preventive Strategies: "Gotcha Sticks" enable the identification of potential hazards before they manifest as actual incidents. This preventive approach aligns with the essence of risk assessment – mitigating risks before they escalate.
  • Customized Risk Prioritization: The hazards simulated by the sticks can be customized to align with the specific risks associated with different machinery. This tailored approach ensures that risk assessments are tailored to the unique challenges of each machine.

Implementing "Gotcha Sticks" in Machine Risk Assessments
Machine risk assessments are a multi-faceted testing process, Universal Safety Scales like these “Gotcha Sticks” can be used in your assessment process in the following ways:

  • Collaboration: Foster collaboration between safety specialists and machinery operators during risk assessments that involve "Gotcha Sticks." The insights from both perspectives can lead to a more comprehensive evaluation.
  • Regular Assessment Routine: Incorporate "Gotcha Stick" simulations into routine risk assessments. Regular evaluations ensure that safety mechanisms remain effective over time.
  • Data Management: Maintain a robust system for documenting "Gotcha Stick" results and related risk assessment data. This centralized data repository supports informed decision-making and trend analysis.

Incorporating Universal Safety Scale "Gotcha Sticks" into machine risk assessments is a strategic move toward achieving a safer work environment. The integration of these tools enhances the precision and comprehensiveness of safety evaluations, aligning with the principles of risk management. These tools, available through our subsidiary Machine Safety Specialists, hold the potential to seamlessly integrate with your machine risk assessments, enhancing safety evaluations.

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