Procter Machine Guarding expert joins BSI standards committee

20 April 2017

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Procter Machine Guarding expert joins BSI standards committeeSteve Allen, National Technical Sales Manager at Procter Machine Guarding, is joining BSI's MCE/3 committee (Safeguarding of Machinery), taking the place of Jeremy Procter, Managing Director of Procter Machine Guarding, who has stepped down having served on the committee for 32 years. This committee plays a crucial role in developing British, European and International machinery safety standards, as well as continuing to update PD 5304. The photograph on the right shows Jeremy Procter (left) and Steve Allen (right).

As the most knowledgeable and experienced expert at Procter Machine Guarding, having been with the company for over 25 years, Steve Allen has a thorough understanding of machine guarding standards. Not only has he applied this knowledge while undertaking machine guarding compliance surveys and designing guards for new and existing machines, but Steve Allen has also acted as an independent advisor, visiting numerous companies to support investigations into accidents involving machines with inadequate guarding.

However, today's machine guarding standards are vastly superior to their predecessors. In the early 1980s, with the first version of the European Machinery Directive approaching implementation, there was a clear need for a better standard for machine guarding. BSI established a working group, onto which Jeremy Procter was soon co-opted, and not long afterwards he was invited to join BSI’s technical committee MCE/3 (Safeguarding of Machinery) to assist with the development of BS 5304. When the standard was launched at the IMechE headquarters in 1988, he made a presentation to introduce the new BS 5304.

BSI representation

Jeremy Procter's involvement continued, as he volunteered to be BSI's representative on CEN technical committee TC114 working group WG5, which was drafting the European machine guarding standard EN 953, and he was later appointed this group’s convenor. It was natural that EN 953 drew heavily on BS 5304 and, when EN 953 was subsequently superseded by the international machine guarding standard ISO 14120, many of the underlying principles first laid down in BS 5304 were carried through.

When BS EN 953 superseded BS 5304, BSI realised that there was a wealth of information in BS 5304 that would not be in the new standard but that would still be valid and useful. BSI therefore published PD 5304 (Guidance on safe use of machinery) and, from time to time, this Published Document has been updated so that it continues to provide valuable guidance for end users and when modifying or upgrading machinery. Jeremy Procter has been closely involved with the ongoing development of PD 5304.

Other machinery safety standards that Jeremy Procter has helped to develop during his long association with BSI are BS EN ISO 14122 (Permanent means of access), BS EN 349 (Minimum gaps to avoid crushing) and BS EN 13857 (Reach distances). Steve Allen is now also taking over from Jeremy Procter on CEN technical committee TC199 working group WG6, which is contributing to the development of an international standard based on BS EN 13857.

Machine safety knowledge and experience

Speaking about Steve Allen's appointment to BSI’s MCE/3 committee, Jeremy Procter says: "Steve's knowledge and experience will make him a real asset to the committee; he not only understands the technicalities of the standards but also appreciates what it is like to implement the standards in real-world situations. I'm very proud of the committee's work over the past 30-plus years and I have no doubt that there have been fewer accidents as a result. Steve will undoubtedly help to continue this important work for the benefit of society as a whole."

Steve Allen adds: "BS 5304 was the standard that laid the foundations for EN 953 and then ISO 14120, so Jeremy's influence on machine guarding standards has been very significant. I’m looking forward to carrying on this work in the future."

At his last BSI MCE/3 committee meeting Jeremy Procter was presented with a Distinguished Service Certificate 'in appreciation of his valuable contributions to the development of British, European and International standards (the certificate is shown in the photograph above).

Procter Machine Guarding has published On Your Guard - a Designer's Guide to Machinery Guarding Standards, PDF copies of which can be downloaded free of charge from the Machine Safety Guides section of the website or it can be read online.

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