The list of modern safety standards is constantly changing and updating and it can be very imposing to keep up to date and informed. Sentinel Machine Safety provides step by step assistance in choosing what standard or standards apply to each project. A very large portion of situations can be accounted for with the following four standards:
Specifies principles of risk assessment and risk reduction to help designers in achieving safe design of machinery. These principles are based on knowledge and experience of the design, use, incidents, accidents, and risks associated with machinery.
Provides safety requirements and guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems, including the design of software.
Specifies the procedures and conditions to be followed for the validation by analysis and testing of specified safety functions, category achieved, and performance level achieved. This standard is used primarily during the on-site validation portion of Sentinel’s services.
Specifies and makes recommendations for the design, integration and validation of safety-related electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic control systems.
The ANSI B11 series of American National Standards and Technical Reports consists of nearly three dozen different documents that deal with machine / machinery / machine tool safety, and they specify requirements for both the manufacturers (suppliers) and users of the machines. The list continues, and the total number of specific standards is quite staggering. The specific standards can be extremely narrow, such as ANSI/RIA R15.06 which focuses on the safety of personnel who work in close proximity to industrial robotics, or they can be broader based while still focusing on a specific aspect of manufacturing such as ISO 13574 which deals with industrial furnaces and related equipment. Sentinel Machine Safety is equipped to work within any relevant safety standards in order to provide the best and safest result for each new project.
The proliferation of PLC controls over the past two decades has resulted in a number of new international standards specific to machine control. These standards include ISO 13849, IEC 62061, and ANSI B11. Sentinel Machine Safety was created to help our clients achieve a ‘Due Diligence’ level of compliance with these standards. ISO 13849-1:2006 provides safety requirements and guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems (SRP/CS), including the design of software. For these parts of SRP/CS, it specifies characteristics that include the performance level required for carrying out safety functions. It applies to SRP/CS, regardless of the type of technology and energy used (electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, etc.), for all kinds of machinery. It does not specify the safety functions or performance levels that are to be used in a particular case. ISO 13849-1:2006 provides specific requirements for SRP/CS using programmable electronic system(s). It does not give specific requirements for the design of products which are parts of SRP/CS. Nevertheless, the principles given, such as categories or performance levels, can be used.
It has been fourteen years since the previous RIA Safety Standard was adopted, and a new set of guidelines has recently been developed to better reflect modern safety practices and hardware advancements made since the RIA R15.06:199 standard. This new revision will make automation systems even safer for workers. RIA R15.06.:2012 has taken full effect as of January 1, 2015, and while not legally mandated, should be adhered to fully in order to meet best practices in robotic safety.
Conforming to RIA R15.06:2012 can require a change in the allocation of valuable time within your organization— Potentially taking time away from other important tasks depending on the size of your process. These changes also will require additional resources, ranging from safety experts and additional operators to programming, controls, and maintenance. Increased liabilities are also a concern; without proper implementation of the new standard, there could be an increased liability for your organization. If you have determined that you may not have the time, resources, or expertise to fully comply with the new RIA standard, you may consider outsourcing.
Consider this; Some companies that provide consulting services also are associated with safety hardware manufacturers or may even sell safety hardware directly. They may come attached to a product agenda that could include purchasing their specific products. A fully third party safety group such as Sentinel Machine Safety that carries no direct connections and does not sell hardware may be the best way to consider hiring a consulting group to help round out the potential shortcomings in your safety team.