July 25, 2021
You are driving by the well-manicured lawns in your rural neighborhood, admiring the lush hydrangeas and abundant azaleas. Suddenly, out of nowhere, something small hits your windshield. Instantaneously, a crack appears. The culprit? A pebble launched by a landscaper’s string trimmer. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to have it repaired. Yet, while windshields can be easily repaired, the human body cannot be restored quite so easily.
One might think of damage or injuries in the workplace as out-of-the-ordinary as projectile rocks on a sunny morning in the country. However, statistics prove otherwise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019. The number of casualties would be significantly higher without adequate safeguards in the workplace. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, worker deaths in America are down, on average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 15 a day in 2019.
It is essential to protect life, limb, and property from the unexpected perils of our industrialized world. Not only are safety measures necessary for the health and safety of employees, but they are also often required by law—as determined by the Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One must install defenses against the accidental release of disease-causing agents, chemical spills, flying debris from power saws, drills, lathes, large machinery, and other dangers. OSHA offers a comprehensive list of safety measures as well as guidelines for the four most commonly used types of guarding: Fixed, Interlocked, Adjustable, and Self-adjusting.
Framing Tech T-slot aluminum modular profiles offer durable, cost-effective, and easy-to-assemble solutions to providing all types of reliable machine guarding. Our T-slot profiles can be custom-designed to virtually any size, purpose, and type of risk. They are ideal for factories, offices, and in-home workspaces. Think of these protected enclosures as cocoons within rooms configured to shield employees and the environment. Small-scale safety enclosures, like Framing Tech’s table-top enclosure, are especially suited for protecting delicate processes from disruptive elements like dust and debris. Enclosures ensure the optimal functioning and longevity of high-end automated equipment, robotic apparatus, and electronic gear.
Applications for Enclosures
The recent pandemic—the origins of which are still being investigated—serves as a timely reminder of the need for robust safeguards in laboratories and other workplaces replete with hazardous materials. Enclosures prevent contact with harmful elements like disease agents, asbestos, flammable chemicals, steam, fire, and exposed electrical wiring. For example, workers in sealed buildings, including those who maintain water cooling towers in air conditioning systems, risk being exposed to the legionella organism and Legionnaires’ Disease from breathing aerosolized water. Appropriate enclosures limit and eliminate these deadly threats.
Applications for Perimeter Fencing
Depending on the objective—be it fortifying borders, maintaining privacy, or limiting exposure—perimeter fencing is an efficient and convenient guarding system. Framing Tech’s two-door enclosure is a clever and convenient solution in spaces where sounds or fumes need to be contained. This large enclosure is perfect for a quick pop-up room. It can easily be integrated into an office, manufacturing, or commercial environment.
Applications for Machine Guarding
It is often necessary to confine the immediate space around heavy and lightweight machinery in a factory setting. Processes that involve cutting, shearing, bending, or punching are especially hazardous. Even seemingly harmless slow-rotating shafts present insidious perils. If an operator’s clothing gets caught, it can pull a hand or arm into the apparatus, leading to the loss of a limb. Amputation is one of the most common and crippling injuries in the occupational workplace.
All machines consist of three significant features—the point of operation, the power transmission device, and the operating controls. Machine guarding at the appropriate location mitigates and eliminates mishaps.
According to Title 29 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), one or more methods of machine guarding must be used to protect operators and other employees from hazards, including those created by point of operation, in-running nip points, rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks. This overview of machine guarding and the requirements for machine guarding offer valuable insights.
Guards should meet specific minimum requisites. They must…
- Prevent contact
The guard must prevent an operator’s body from coming in contact with dangerous moving parts.
- Be secure
Guards must be secure, sturdy, and tamper-proof.
- Preclude falling objects
The guard must prevent objects from falling on or into moving parts of the machinery.
- Create no new hazards
A guard must not present any hazards in the way of jagged edges or rough surfaces.
- Create no interference
A guard must not hinder an operator’s ability to perform the task efficiently.
- Allow safe lubrication
Where needed, operators should have easy access to lubricate the machinery without removing the guards.
Given the intuitive design options at Framing Tech, machine enclosures can be configured to provide quick and easy access to machines for inspections and repairs.
In short, Framing Tech’s modular extruded aluminum systems offer the flexibility to alter partitions in the long term to incorporate changes mandated by innovation and expansion.