‘Invaluable aid’ when designing and specifying perimeter guarding for machinery
Procter Machine Safety has released Version 5 of its free BS EN ISO 13857 Safety Distance Calculator for establishing the correct height and distance of physical guards from hazardous machinery.
This development aligns the Safety Distance Calculator with the latest edition of the standard. As with previous versions, the updated calculator is easier to use than the standard. It is available as a free download from Procter’s website.
BS EN ISO 13857:2019 'Safety of machinery - Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs’ is a ‘designated standard’ for UKCA marking machinery to the UK’s Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. Machine builders can also use the standard – and the Safety Distance Calculator – when CE marking machinery to the Machinery Directive for the EU market.
Perimeter guarding for machinery
The Safety Distance Calculator is an invaluable aid when designing and specifying perimeter guarding for machinery. It is built on an Excel spreadsheet, though no prior knowledge of Excel is required to use it; instructions are provided and selections are made via drop-down menus.
In the Protective Structure Minimum Height Calculator, users can select whether BS EN ISO 13857 Table 1 safety distances should be used – which is appropriate when injuries would be of a minor nature and the probability of occurrence is low – or Table 2, which is the case for most machines.
After the user has entered the horizontal distance to the hazard and the height of the hazard, the calculator automatically works out the minimum height of the protective structure required.
If a user wishes to specify a standard height for guarding around the entire machine, the horizontal distance can be adjusted until the minimum protective structure height matches the preferred guard height. Alternatively, if floor space is particularly restricted, the horizontal distance can be reduced as necessary and the required minimum protective structure height established.
Reaching through openings
As well as the Protective Structure Minimum Height Calculator, the Procter Safety Distance Calculator also has a worksheet for establishing safe distances when reaching through openings.
Procter Machine Safety recommends that a risk assessment is performed before using the Safety Distance Calculator, for which the company offers a free Risk Assessment Calculator based on machinery safety standard BS EN ISO 12100:2010 ‘Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction’.
Anyone with responsibility for machine guarding will find the Safety Distance Calculator useful, states the company. It could be for specifying or designing guards for new or existing machines, or conducting a UKCA audit on new machinery. In addition, the calculator will be helpful when conducting a PUWER inspection before using new machinery for the first time or for checking guards during subsequent PUWER inspections.
Thomas Shapland, marketing director of Procter Brothers, comments: “Our Safety Distance Calculator has always been incredibly popular, ever since we launched the first version in 2006. As the relevant standard has evolved, we have continually updated the Safety Distance Calculator to keep it current.
“Of course, if people need further help, our machine safety specialists can provide machine guarding compliance surveys, risk assessments and PUWER inspections. If necessary, we can also supply and install standard modular perimeter guarding, as well as design, manufacture and install bespoke guarding – including electrical integration.”
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