It is the responsibility of the machine designer to assess the risks posed by a machine or parts of the machine. When those risks are determined, follow these three steps to mitigate potential hazards.
- Design the equipment so that it cannot cause injury. This may be easier said than done. Any time an operator must interact with a machine, there will be some inherent risk as both human behavior and machines are not totally predictable.
- Build in additional forms of protection such as physical barriers or safety circuits to be proactive against identified threats.
- Add passive safety measures such as warning signs and lights to further reduce risk.
Choosing a safety function also depends on what is suited for a machine so that one safety trigger will not initiate a different type of safety hazard.
The machine designer is ultimately responsible for mitigating risk with associated use. Part of that requires choosing parts that meet current standards. Machine designers should work closely with parts distributors with a variety of products and solid product knowledge to develop equipment with the components that will keep operators as safe as possible.