Practices and needs of machinery designers and manufacturers in safety of machinery: An exploratory study in the province of Quebec, Canada


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Gauthier, F., Chinniah, Y., Abdul-Nour, G., Jocelyn, S., Aucourt, B., Bordeleau, G. et Ben Mosbah, A. (2021). Practices and needs of machinery designers and manufacturers in safety of machinery: An exploratory study in the province of Quebec, Canada. Safety Science, 133 . p. 105011. ISSN 0925-7535 DOI .10.1016/j.ssci.2020.105011

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This paper presents an exploratory study on the integration of safety during the design and manufacturing phases of machinery in the province of Quebec, Canada. The objective was to better understand the practices and needs of machinery manufacturers for safeguarding their products. Data was collected during interviews and observations with 17 machinery manufacturers. Given the purpose of this study, these companies specialize in the design and manufacturing of machinery used for production in other manufacturing companies. The machines designed and built by these manufacturers are intended for several sectors and are sold in Canada and in various parts of the word. These machines are mainly built and assembled in the workshops. The manufacturers who were interviewed rely on design teams generally made up of mechanical, electrical and mechatronic engineers; technicians in these same fields; designers; machinists and electricians to design their machinery. These teams use on average between five and six normative and regulatory documents depending on their clients’ requirements. Most respondents are aware of the need to properly identify the risks related to the use of their machinery and to avoid improvising approaches that may prevent a comprehensive analysis. Their risk-analysis approaches are generally documented, depending on the scope of the project. All the manufacturers interviewed install guards and protective devices on their machines. They favour guards made up of rigid frames and polycarbonate panels and are less likely to use light curtains and laser scanners, because these devices are more expensive. Bypassing these safeguards remains a concern for most manufacturers. The causes cited for bypassing safeguards are summarized as problems related to the performance and adaptability of human-machinery interfaces; the lack of integrated safety measures; safeguards that make machine set-up phase complex, reconfiguration or maintenance operations; and the acceptance of safeguards by machine users. Costs, productivity and operating time are some of the constraints that require very particular attention from design teams. For operational reasons and in order to respect their specific procedures, sometimes clients ask manufacturers for safeguarding solutions that are appropriate for them or, refuse the safeguarding solutions that are proposed. In addition to safeguards bypass and constraints imposed by the client, this study identifies other problems and needs, namely: 1) inherently safe design measures; 2) managing risks during the building phases of the machinery’s life cycle besides production and maintenance; 3) ensuring the applicable standards are used and updated; 4) designing and validating safety-related control systems and; 5) making clients more conscious of the importance of safety of machinery.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Safety of machinery Design Manufacturer Risk assessment
Date de dépôt: 25 sept. 2023 15:16
Dernière modification: 25 sept. 2023 15:16
Version du document déposé: Post-print (version corrigée et acceptée)

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