Implement Today’s Best Practices Into Your Risk Assessment Process
Machinery and Equipment Risk Assessment
Labels, warnings and markings are a critical part of machinery safety and compliance, but there are other important, related elements. The foundation of a strong product safety program is a quality risk assessment process. It’s fundamental from both a product design and safety standpoint. You can’t control a risk through design, or provide safeguards or warnings, unless you first assess it. A thorough risk assessment will identify hazards, estimate the severity of injury presented by each hazard, and estimate the probability of the injury’s occurrence. Then, for risks considered “unacceptable” due to applicable laws, regulations, standards or public opinion, control measures can be applied (based on the hierarchy of controls) to reduce risk. This can help protect those who interact with the product during its lifecycle. In that way, your warning systems – including labels and instructions – are an outcome of your risk assessment process. Intelligent decisions need to be made concerning risks, including how to warn effectively, so people can avoid harm.
Risk Assessment Requirements and Best Practices for Manufacturers
Risk assessments can help manufacturers improve machinery safety, reduce risk and comply with applicable legal requirements. From a legal perspective, “reasonably foreseeable” risks must be defined as well as “reasonable” ways to mitigate risks associated with hazards that cannot be designed out. It’s critical to proactively prioritize and mitigate risk in advance of injuries or catastrophes.
For consistency and to utilize the latest advances in this area, following a standards-based risk assessment process is important. Recent risk assessment standards from ANSI and ISO exemplify today’s best practices. These include:
- ANSI Z10 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard
- ANSI B11.0 Safety of Machinery; General Requirements and Risk Assessment
- ISO 31000 Risk management – Guidelines
- ISO 31010 Risk management – Risk assessment techniques
- ISO 12100 Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction
- ISO/TR 14121-2, Safety of machinery — Risk assessment — Part 2: Practical guidance and examples of methods
The methods from these standards can be used to create your own standardized process. There are also a number of industry standards requiring risk assessments to take into consideration, including – among many others – machinery, packaging machinery, semiconductor equipment, electrical systems, fire and consumer products.
Our Risk Assessment Services
We offer comprehensive risk assessment services for machinery and equipment through Clarion Safety Assessment. By working with our ANSI and ISO standards-trained experts, we can help you avoid making common, costly mistakes. Those include failing to use a vetted system in line with the latest standards and failing to use a comprehensive approach from start to finish – from the product’s design to the go-to-market strategy. We work with clients at all stages of product design and development, including the initial stages of the design cycle, the final development of the product, and after placement on the market. Together, we can ensure your risk assessment follows a formal method based on the needs at hand and today’s best practices. The end result: effective processes and outcomes are established in line with your comprehensive safety strategy.