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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. OSHA (sidebar)

Building safer packaging equipment

Few would disagree that safer packaging machinery would make for safer workplaces. Nick Gil, president of Adco Manufacturing Inc., (Sanger, CA), a maker of 12 different lines of cartoning equipment, says OSHA and product liability judgments are the prime stimulants to new product development. He cites the "gull wing" design of machine guards as one of the relatively new innovations that have swept the industry. Manufacturers continue to look for better materials and more reliable switches for their packaging machinery. Gil expects U.S. manufacturers to start using the "safety" switches pioneered by the Germans, where the interlock switch is wired into the central circuit. In fact, requirements in Europe that incoming machinery contain a "CE" mark as of January 1995 may force American companies to build machinery that meets the Commonwealth of Nations machine guarding and switching standards, or else, if they want to export to Europe, they would have to build separate product lines. c

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