Keep Operators Safe with Quality Manuals
Machinery User Manuals
Regardless of how simple equipment might be for operators to use, a precise, quality user manual is crucial. Manuals are an essential extension of your machine, and are also its most visible product document. A quality manual needs to clearly and effectively communicate instructions and information. That’s a necessity for a manual to fulfill its two main objectives: protecting the safety of all users across the equipment’s complete lifecycle, and fulfilling your legal duty to warn.
Is Your Current Manual Enough?
Does your equipment manual clearly communicate all the details of how the machine operates, as well as all the key safety instructions? Does it include the required information given by relevant legislation and product safety standards? The design process for your manual may have included a compilation of information from instruction sheets or sessions with stakeholders experienced with the machinery’s daily operations. However, because manuals are an important document for user safety and protection against liability, this design method isn’t always enough. It’s common for manuals to miss needed safety information, which can be a cause of costly equipment malfunctions, accidents, and injuries.
Typical flaws that manuals often have include:
- Not conforming to ANSI/ISO best practices for content
- Poor writing or organization resulting in unclear communication
- Missing maintenance instructions
- Missing warnings and instruction information
- Not considering audience comprehension or language requirements
- Failing to include mandatory elements required by legislation or standards
How Can a Manual Audit Help?
A manual must be well designed and clearly communicate the instructions and safety information associated with the equipment. It must also adhere to the current applicable safety standards and best practices. It can be a challenge to produce a complete yet concise set of information that communicates the safe use of a machine. A thorough audit to address gaps and problem areas, along with the consultation of advised improvements, can help ensure your manual meets today’s requirements for safety and risk reduction.
Our Audit and Design Services
We offer trusted, effective manual audit and design services through Clarion Safety Assessment. Whether you have an existing manual to be audited, or have a new product without a manual, we can help. Using ISO 20607, as well as ANSI Z535.6, as a guide, our trusted team of experts thoroughly examines your manual from various angles with safety in mind. We then make recommendations to improve structure, content, and design. As a next step, you can then choose to take advantage of our technical writing and design experience to implement those recommendations.
We address all aspects of your manual, including:
- Content structure and organization
- Key principles of instructional design
- Writing style and legibility
- Audience and translation requirements
- Updates and version control
- Analysis of residual risks
- Overviews of the machine and general safety/operating instructions
- Warnings, instructions, and safety symbols
- Machine transportation, handling, and storage
- Machine inspection, testing, cleaning, and maintenance