While things are safer than they’ve ever been on the factory and mill front, there are still plenty of opportunities for harm. Luckily, technology has caught up with manufacturing, and there are multiple devices and systems in place to prevent accidents and worse. While most people don’t give much thought to them, they do their part to protect workers and the general public’s health and well-being. Here’s a selection of specific industrial machinery that keeps people safe.
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Safety Interlock Switches
The best way to keep someone safe is to keep them away from danger. But sometimes, signs and safety tape aren’t enough to prevent someone from getting too close to a dangerous situation. Safety interlock switches are put in place to keep a machine from being operated or started up or ensure doors or gates to a hazardous area can’t be opened while the machinery is activated. Often, the machinery must be shut off a key removed before proceeding.
When discussing industrial machinery that keeps people safe, some machines prevent unseen and more subtle ways of injuring individual health from taking place. Vacuum blowers work to gather dust, particles, gases, and other airborne hazards from a facility’s environment. This protects machinery from dust, grit, and so forth that can cause them to clog up and break down and, more importantly, keep irritating deadly particles from being inhaled, which can cause long-term health effects. Some vacuum blowers even gather up organic particulates that can lead to explosions. Vacuum blowers work in the background at factories, sawmills, food processing pants, and other places.
Light curtains and safety scanners are devices that use light or lasers to cover a space where machinery is being used that can pose a threat should an individual or object enter that area in whole or in part. The curtains and scanners provide an uninterrupted beam of light which, if interfered with, deactivates the surrounding machinery, preventing accidents. This eliminates the need for a physical barrier that might otherwise interfere with operations or access while keeping people out. Machines can’t think, but with light curtains and scanners, they can “know” when to watch out for anyone in the danger zone.
Two-Hand Control Devices
“Idle hands are the Devil’s tools,” or so the old saying goes. In cases of industrial safety, it’s ideal to keep both hands occupied and away from the dangers of crippling injuries. With two-hand controls, the operator’s hands are kept away from any moving parts since the device shuts down unless both hands are at the controls. Two-hand control devices also help fight stress caused by repetitive motions and prevent the operator’s hands from unintentionally activating or deactivating the device. Keep your hands on the wheel, so to speak!