What does safety in the packaging industry mean? Reducing accidents? Claiming compliance to the legal requirements? Increasing costs without increasing efficiency? The truth is that safety in the packaging industry is similar to safety in many other industries, the difference being the machinery used. There are wrappers, fillers, cappers, palletizers, boxers, erectors, conveyors and converting machines all designed to package your product in a unique, efficient and cost effective manner. These machines are usually fast, continuous and have inherent hazards, making it difficult to know how to safeguard the machines without adversely affecting the production.
There is no option of doing nothing! The impact of unsafe equipment is far reaching and accidents have a devastating effect on personnel, budgets, public relations, products, brands and a company’s future. Ensuring that the equipment is kept safe is not only prudent but also makes good business sense. In many cases it has been shown that a direct investment in safety results in a direct improvement in efficiency and bottom line.
So what do you do? Well a lot of the work has already been done for you in the form of standards. These standards are designed to lay down important health and safety requirements that your equipment must meet. These are not supposed to be incomprehensible, detached, legal documents that are impossible to achieve. They are written by people with years of experience in packaging machines. They are practical, sound advice, documents that allow you to learn from past experiences to ensure that your equipment does not repeat the same safety issues.
PMMI B155.1- Safety Requirements for Packaging Machinery and Packaging-Related Converting Machinery is an ANSI approved standard that is harmonized to several well recognized international standards such as ISO 12100 and ISO 14121. Your packaging equipment should be checked and updated to ensure it complies with this standard. Claiming compliance with the standard will align your equipment with the legal requirements, however it will ultimately mean safer machines, which will improve your business.
What does it say? B155.1 sets minimum requirements on several important issues relating to packaging machinery safety. These requirements define specific safety areas and are not just technical requirements. Some of these requirements include:
• Requirements for design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of the machinery
• Risk Assessment on Packaging equipment
• Safeguarding of Packaging equipment
• Running the packaging equipment
• Training on the packaging equipment
• Personal Protective Equipment
Putting it all together -The key to safety in the Packaging Industry, indeed all industries, is trying to gather the knowledge to put it all together. Safety is a broad subject. Packaging Machinery safety requires technical knowledge, knowledge of the legislation, knowledge of safety principles, knowledge of risk management, knowledge of the documentation and the knowledge to be able to put it all into a real production environment and not just a theoretical one. At the same time trying to ensure that the battle between safety and production is managed.
Pilz Services have the knowledge required to put it all into one package. Pilz certified safety consultants can provide conformance analysis to the B155.1 Packaging Equipment standard identifying where the equipment is in compliance and where it is not. They can perform risk assessment highlighted the key safety issues affecting your machines, recommend real practical safeguarding solutions and at the same time utilizing our LEANsafe™ principles we can ensure that Safety and Production become one integrated process. Afterwards, our experienced team of safety engineers can design, build and install the recommended safeguards and control measures then provide a final safety sign-off that will certify compliance to the B155.1 standard. To ensure your packaging machines stay safe the Pilz Training Services team can tailor you a training packaging that allows you to understand your responsibilities and ensure a safer, more integrated packaging process.