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Emergency Kill Switch Safety Feature

How to Apply Machinery Safety Principles in Process Plants

April 12, 2023
Conformity with machinery safety standards has tremendous benefits such as reducing injury and liability, leveraging early key design changes, minimizing downtime, increasing machinery reliability, and improving productivity.

When performing risk assessments on process equipment, are you reviewing machinery as well? Bag dump stations, conveyors, and various vendor-packaged machinery provided with E-Stops are sometimes evaluated in a Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), but they tend to be reviewed at a high level. Because they do not have process flow, they may not be viewed as having traditional process safety hazards. Machines still have hazards, and there is a need for a deeper dive with respect to machinery-related hazards.

Did you know that machinery E-Stops fall under OSHA’s General Duty Clause? In an interpretation letter from April 28, 1999, OSHA noted, “If a serious injury could result from an improperly-designed or installed emergency stop device, a citation under the OSH Act’s General Duty Clause could be issued.” This brings the question—how should machinery without process flow be addressed?

There are separate standards available for evaluating machinery hazards and designing their safeguards appropriately: ISO 12100, IEC 62061, and ISO 13849. Fortunately, the functional safety of machinery follows a similar workflow to the process safety lifecycle. Similar to identifying risk gaps in a Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), we can identify risk gaps for machinery. We can define risk targets, determine how to best close the risk gaps, specify a design, and verify the risk has been adequately addressed.

This paper will present a practical example application to demonstrate machinery safety risk reduction in accordance with machinery safety standards for machinery common to chemical process plants.

What You'll Learn:

  • Machinery Safety Risk Assessment (MSRA)
    • Hazard Identification
    • Risk Quantification
    • Safeguard Selection and Requirements
  • Design to Meet the Target PL
  • Safety Requirements Specification

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