I Am Safety – I Own It. This is our mantra at Marion Process Solutions. Not only is safety one of our core behaviors, it resides at the top of the list. It’s a simple concept really, but profoundly important in any manufacturing facility.
Whether it’s an impromptu safety huddle among teammates or a formal company event, we should all be familiar with the following five basic safety principles:
- Wear PPE when required
- Follow all lock-out/tag-out procedures
- Eliminate fire hazards
- Be alert for slips, trips and falls
- Create, review and practice emergency action plans
Important reminders – no doubt! However, at Marion, we often find the most effective safety improvements start with being more observant of the daily activities inside our facility, even inviting in a fresh set of eyes to review our safety practices from time to time. We do it, and that’s why Marion encourages you to join us in looking at the following three safety improvement opportunities related to the processing equipment in your facilities.
Know Your ABC’s When it Comes to MSD’s:
Equipment issues can often hide in plain sight and contribute to musculoskeletal disorders—more commonly referred to as MSD’s. MSD’s have come into sharper focus as companies actively look for opportunities to reduce incidences of repetitive use injuries affecting the following high-risk areas: lower back, knees, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Ergonomics is the name of the game here. Engineering firms focus on it when developing floorplans, and manufacturers of processing equipment are answering the bell with all-around smarter designs.
A classic example of ergonomic design for processing equipment is mixer cover doors. It’s nothing for a small door to weigh 30lbs, with 45-65lbs being even more common. Typical cover layouts force an operator to lift the weight from an unnatural body position. And, once that door is open, it has to close, which in addition to the weight also creates a pinch hazard. To eliminate these concerns, consider a door design that utilizes a counterweight assist or linear actuation to help protect operators. Effective machine enhancements like these make it easy to Always Be Careful when using your process equipment.
Train, Train, Train
Prior to commissioning a new piece of equipment, and at regular intervals after startup, proper machine training that includes classroom and hands-on instruction should be part of your routine. A fundamental component of your training should focus on your installation and operation manual (IOM).
IOM’s contain valuable information and should be the starting reference point for equipment questions. If you don’t have an IOM for your Marion equipment, contact us. Also, don’t assume just because you’ve used a like piece of equipment in the past that your new one will operate exactly the same. Marion offers onsite training assistance to ensure operators understand the functionality and associated safety systems for all of our equipment.
Let Your Neat-Freak Shine – Ditch the Dust!
Keeping production work areas tidy and minimizing the risk of inhalation hazards start with good equipment design. The presence of SBR tape at critical contact points should always throw up a red flag when it comes to cleanliness. While SBR tape has many uses, controlling dusting isn’t one of them. And, let’s face it… no one likes having to scrape off adhesive backing when it’s time to replace it. Instead, look for the presence of removable o-rings. O-rings are proven to provide a more effective sealing medium while offering quick changeover during cleaning campaigns. Call us crazy, but at Marion we think your secret sauce should stay inside the mixer when running, not coating the surfaces and operators in the room. See the benefit of o-ring gaskets in this quick video.
These are just a few of the many safety improvement opportunities that you should be on the lookout for in your facility. Need some safety help? The Marion team is at-the-ready to perform a thorough safety assessment of your processing equipment, provide training or share further thoughts on the topic. Contact us to learn more!
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