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Machine safety — Safety distances

Discuss all things health and safety.

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Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by ChrisWeightman »

Hi im looking for some advice & guidance. I have recently purchased a concrete mixer but it is not in compliance with BS EN ISO
13857:2008 Safety of machinery —
Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs.
I have had the danger zones guarded to be compliant but this has lead to the concrete not being able to flow into the mixer and issues during the discharge of the material. As it is getting clogged in the guarding

Any advice or help would be appreciated - could the guarding openings (aperture) be enlarged as far as reasonably practicable to allow the flow of concrete and then rely on procedure, training and supervision??? with a through and comprehensive risk assessment
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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by bernicarey »

Ummm.... interesting topic.
What sort of Mixer are we speaking of?

The phrase
concrete not being able to flow into the mixer
has confused me, surely it's dry ingredients and water going in and concrete is the product being discharged? .scratch

If it's something like this you're referring to, I can see why your guarding has stopped it being used correctly.
I would say that more emphasis on safety distances than actual guarding is the way to approach this problem, not to guard it out of practical use.

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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by quality_somerset »

Morning Chris

Reasonable practicability does not apply to machine guarding; PUWER 11, 2(a) states that "the provision of fixed guards enclosing every dangerous part or rotating stock-bar where and to the extent that it is practicable to do so". If it is not possible to fit a guard, only then are you allowed to explore other avenues.

As Bernie states without seeing the type of mixer it is hard to offer any advice.


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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by joaorosa80 »

Is not compliance with BS EN ISO 13857:2008 Safety of machinery? How do you know that? Just because of the distance? What elements of risk are you considering? Well if not compliance doesn't have CE Marking, correct? Simply remove from the site and ask for the money back.
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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by kevlarion »

Hi Chris,
I think you are starting from the wrong end of this process.
First do the thorough and comprehensive risk assessment,
Are there concrete mixers out there that do comply with the BS EN standard ? If so perhaps you should get one.

From my limited understanding of using an ungaurded cement mixer of the type Bernicarey pictured the risks are the various rotating parts.
A drivebelt or chain and the associated wheels can be covered (as shown in the pictures), but the drum itself is a bit more difficult.
You could simpy train everyone who uses it to stop the drum before adding ingeredients to the drum.
There will be no minimum distance required for a stationary drum.
You could probably add water from a hose to the mix without stopping the machine since this doesn't require being very close to the drum.

Identify the hazards.
Quantify the risks.
Decide on control measures, don't make the task impossible.
Implement them and ensure everyone at risk of harm if control measures are not adhered to understand those risks and adhere to the control measures.
Have the work supervised by someone you can trust to enforce control measures.
If it isn't broken, that doesn't mean you can't improve it. (Do three negatives make a positive ?)
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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by Siblo »

You lot have scared Chris away now...

I've just seem him sat in the corner of the building site with his head in his hands..
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Re: Machine safety — Safety distances

Post by LittleNell83 »

As long as his head is only in his hands, and he is not threatening to put his head within the safety distance of a mixer.

In all honesty- this is one of those issues which shows how complex health and safety can be- and how guarding can sometimes seem practicable but if it prevents the work from being carried out properly then it will be disregarded.

We have a small mixer, and we ensure the people using are trained in manual handling (we had issues with twisting torsos when filling the drum causing problems) and the fact they lift the spade to the mixer, and not into the mixer.

When we trialed turning it on and off it wasn't good-they complained it didn't mix as well, and therefore didn't want to follow the procedure... whether this is true, I can't say (I often come up against balloney excuses for not following H&S because of laziness/ habit. Ear defenders make their heads itch/ they can't hear the fork lift etc etc despite the fact we bought several different types for them to trial, chosen as they lower the sounds by a small amount to bring us within the safe working limits but allow noise to still be heard- and the fact the main person at risk from noise damage is also the main forklift driver!!! And this comes from the director's son so no back up there.. Sorry Rant Over)

Anyway- yes, we modified our procedures to reduce the risk, but to a working method they will follow.

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