August 25 2016

Safety first 224x238
Safety First

By: Robert Douglas, Service Manager

As automation enters your workplace, it may appear to be extremely intelligent and consistent in its ability to perform the tasks for which it was designed. However, do not be fooled into thinking that any piece of automated equipment has the intellectual ability to recognize you as a human being. If you make a decision to place yourself into the defined work area of automated equipment while it is in operation, you have just placed yourself in a dangerous situation that could have dire consequences for yourself and for others around you.

Safety is Number 1

Each person should leave the workplace in the same injury free condition as when he or she entered at the beginning of the workday. To fulfil this expectation, you must take an active role in following the safety rules and procedures established by your employer to ensure the safety of yourself and your coworkers.

Automated equipment is designed to minimize the need for human interaction from the daily operations perspective; however, interaction with automated equipment may be required from time to time for successful operations. During maintenance activities on automated equipment it will certainly be necessary to interact with the equipment. Whether your activities are operational or maintenance related, following the internal safety rules and recommendations of the equipment manufacturer is essential to ensuring everyone’s safety.

The Key is Knowledge

The key to safely interacting with any automated equipment is knowledge. This knowledge is acquired through education, safety training provided by your employer, and equipment specific knowledge included in the operation and maintenance manuals. Receiving onsite training provided by the equipment manufacturer is also another great way to gain more knowledge about the equipment.

Very often those individuals that were present during the installation and commissioning of automated equipment advance to other jobs and responsibilities within the organization. When this happens, the safety knowledge they initially acquired and built upon through experience is not adequately passed along to those now responsible for daily operations and maintenance. Do not guess or make assumptions regarding safety procedures as this introduces the potential for injury. If in doubt about safety procedures, take the time to seek out the proper information before putting yourself or coworkers in an unsafe position.

Honor yourself, your coworkers and your family by making safety the priority in every activity that you engage in. To that end, arm yourself with the knowledge of proper operational and maintenance procedures for any interaction you may have with automated equipment.

Westfalia Technologies offers our customers initial and refresher training in the operation and maintenance of our equipment and software and would be pleased to provide a proposal to your organization for these services.