2008 has proved to be a tough year economically, but while the need for machinery safety remains unchanged, there have been numerous developments in this important field. As well as the new Corporate Manslaughter legislation coming into force, there have been revised standards, new and updated guidance from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and new products launched by Pilz. In addition, Pilz has opened a new research and development centre, published a Functional Safety poster and appointed a new official distributor.
There have been no major new machinery safety standards published in 2008, but BS EN ISO 13857:2008 amalgamates two standards that previously covered safety distances for the upper and lower limbs.
The HSE has produced several updated guidance documents in 2008 relating to managers, PUWER and employee involvement. Furthermore, the HSE's Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC) has launched Making a Difference 2008-2011, the second phase of its strategy to improve health and safety performance in the papermaking, corrugated packaging and recovered paper sectors. Lastly, the HSE has just announced a consultation on its own new strategy.
During 2008 Pilz launched a series of new products. These included PNOZsigma expansion modules, IP67 input modules for SafetyNET p, monitoring relays, the PMCprotego D servo amplifier, the PSENslock interlock, version 6 of the PNOZmulti Configurator and the fourth-generation PMI operator interfaces. Pilz also released a new version of the PAScal safety calculator.
Looking ahead to 2009, it is clear that the economy will continue to present challenges to businesses. Nevertheless, machine builders still need to prepare for the new Machinery Directive that comes into force on 29 December 2009, and manufacturers need to be ready to respond to new guidance that may be published by the HSE. Pilz also has a number of new products scheduled for launch during 2009, and readers are reminded that the PNOZ Classic range of relays will be discontinued in early 2009.
Whatever machinery safety problems you face in 2009, remember that Pilz Automation Technology has the skills and expertise to seek solutions and, if necessary, provide the hardware and software to implement cost-effective measures to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation and standards.