Guarding of a wrapping machine which also allows the operation to be viewed
A soap product was being automatically fed by conveyor into a wrapping machine and several potential hazards were identified. A trapping hazard occurred when the gearing was in motion, the operator could be struck by moving parts of the machine and clothing, hair or jewellery could become entangled in the rotating parts of the machine. Access to the dangerous parts was also required during maintenance.
A metal and Perspex guard were installed on the wrapping machine to ensure the safety of the operator. The machine was partially enclosed in a fixed guard of metal and Perspex with the access points of the guard interlocked to the machine’s controls. For interlocking systems to be effective they must be reliable, capable of resisting interference and should be fail-safe.
In the area where the product was conveyed to the wrapping section, limit switches were used on the guarding to ensure that the machine stopped when access to the process was necessary. The wrappers are fed through a window in the guard which does not allow operator access to any moving parts of the machine or process.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- Guarding provided protection for workers from the possibility of injury from dangerous parts and at the same time allowed full vision for the operator.