Machinery with dangerous moving parts can cause significant injuries or worse, so reducing risk is a high priority and makes good business sense. Our global machinery safeguarding programme has introduced additional risk-reducing measures to more than 3,000 of the 11,000 machines we use around the world. We have invested £25 million in a range of additional safeguards, including fixed guards and fences, moveable interlocked guards, emergency stops, light curtains, pressure mats and other measures. Light curtains and pressure mats are used to automatically stop machines if someone inadvertently moves into an area and breaks the light beam or steps on a pressure sensor.
Understandably we view this investment in machinery safeguards as vital for the health and safety of our machinery operators. In one example, to obtain the required standard of finish, components have to be manually polished. Until recently this was done using a lathe fitted with industry standard interlocked guards. This made it difficult to consistently achieve the finish we needed, operators had to adopt an awkward posture and the process still involved a risk of hand and finger injuries.
A modification now means that the rotating component is fully enclosed and the polishing cloth is applied to the component through a slot in the guard. This prevents fingers and hands entering the 'danger zone'. The rotational speed is limited to 60 rpm and the operator's posture is much improved.