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Machine builders weigh in on safety issues

What are packaging machinery manufacturers’ plans for keeping their equipment operating safely and ergonomically? Exclusive survey reveals which safety devices are most popular.
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Last month Packaging World presented an exclusive survey of packaging machinery end users. The subject: packaging machinery safety and ergonomics (see August p. 32 or safety). This month it’s the suppliers’ turn. Once again the survey was conducted on through most of the first half of this year ending in May. A total of 133 machinery suppliers responded. Although the survey results should not be interpreted as a scientific sampling of suppliers’ attitudes they still provide solid insights into the packaging machinery supplier’s mindset about safety and ergonomics. While packaging machinery end users were downright chatty in the section of the survey where they were asked to write their comments suppliers had little to say. In fact only three verbatim comments were available for inclusion here. All three are responses to the following question: “Have you had to modify your equipment as a result of advice from an attorney insurance company or safety consultant? Describe modifications and whether you think they were warranted given the cost.” “Our equipment is manufactured according to CE standards and other European safety laws” said the representative of a company that makes shrink wrappers and bundlers. “Those standards far exceed the U.S. requirements and have allowed us a distinct advantage in this country.” This came from a supplier of custom equipment applications: “Most of our equipment is custom. As part of the process we carefully evaluate safety issues. If warranted an insurance rep or attorney will be asked to offer an opinion.” And finally this from a maker of bagging machines and conveyors: “I have added interlock switches on all opening and removable panels. The machines will stop immediately when anything is opened. I am also planning to install light beam sensors in case someone puts his hand someplace it’s not supposed to be. When I look at some of the people running some of this equipment I get very nervous.”

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