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Machine Safety Research at NIOSH and the Future Directions

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Workers who operate and maintain machinery suffere about 18,000 amputations and 843 fatalities annually. These machine-related injuries have excellent potential for eradication if research can provide better prevention knowledge to machine users, designers, and builders. Because machines are a frequent and persistent source of occupational injury, NIOSH has conducted a program of research on machine safety problems since the Institute was established in 1971. This report describes results of a NIOSH analysis of data on all types of machine-related fatality and injury. Machines from the agricultural, construction, and manufacturing industries were combined in this analysis. The data analysis used death certificate and workers' compensation information to rank types of machines needing research. This report also describes results of a roundtable at which priorities in manufacturing machine safety research were discussed. Human factors in robotized workplaces, reliability of machine safety devices, and machine-related injury data for different machine types were among the subjects discussed. Farm tractors, industrial presses, saws, forklifts, and shears and slicers were identified as machines with high severity and frequency of injuries. Additional work is also justified in the emerging technology of robotic safety. NIOSH's safety research programs in the new decade will focus on these high priority machines.
... Since its establishment in 1971, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has played a lead role in conducting machine safety research and in identifying the most hazardous machines affecting the U.S. workforce [Etherton and Myers, 1990]. Etherton and Myers [1990] found that incidents involving tractors and forklifts accounted for the largest number of occupational machine-related fatalities based on data from 1980-1985 from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) database. ...
... Since its establishment in 1971, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has played a lead role in conducting machine safety research and in identifying the most hazardous machines affecting the U.S. workforce [Etherton and Myers, 1990]. Etherton and Myers [1990] found that incidents involving tractors and forklifts accounted for the largest number of occupational machine-related fatalities based on data from 1980-1985 from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) database. More rigorous analyses of NTOF suggested that machines were the second leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 14% of all work-related deaths from 1980 through 1989 [Pratt et al., 1996], and the second or third cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S. from 1980 through 1998 [NIOSH, 2004]. ...
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Background: This paper describes trends of occupational machine-related fatalities from 1992-2010. We examine temporal patterns by worker demographics, machine types (e.g., stationary, mobile), and industries. Methods: We analyzed fatalities from Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. We used injury source to identify machine-related incidents and Poisson regression to assess trends over the 19-year period. Results: There was an average annual decrease of 2.8% in overall machine-related fatality rates from 1992 through 2010. Mobile machine-related fatality rates decreased an average of 2.6% annually and stationary machine-related rates decreased an average of 3.5% annually. Groups that continued to be at high risk included older workers; self-employed; and workers in agriculture/forestry/fishing, construction, and mining. Conclusion: Addressing dangers posed by tractors, excavators, and other mobile machines needs to continue. High-risk worker groups should receive targeted information on machine safety. Am. J. Ind. Med. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
... The industrial accidents caused by machines occur in various forms, such as crushing, cutting, and spreading, and their prevention has been extensively studied (Dźwiareka and Latała, 2016;Chen et al., 2019). John and Melvin analysed the industrial accidents occurring in machinery in agriculture, construction, and manufacturing, based on statistical data obtained from NIOSH from 1980 to 1985, mainly focusing on agricultural tractors, industrial presses, saws, forklifts, shears, and cutters (John and Melvin, 1990). Additionally, the frequency and intensity of these machines were analysed to be high, and measures to prevent them were suggested. ...
Article
Industrial accidents caused by equipment (machinery) occur in various forms, such as jamming, cutting, and crushing. Among them, various precise and dangerous machines and equipment in the manufacturing industry continue to be used despite the several regulations established and efforts made. This study analysed the accidental deaths caused through jamming or crushing during non-routine work, in the manufacturing industry from 2014 to 2018. The analysis was conducted on 203 cases of non-routine work among 359 fatalities. The maintenance, repair, inspection, replacement, adjustment, cleaning, and removal of foreign substances were classified into non-routine work. Owing to the use of various machineries and equipment in the manufacturing industry, specialised knowledge is required for their maintenance and management, as well as daily work. Since various types of equipment (machinery) are used in the manufacturing industry, expertise to safely use equipment is required to prevent industrial accidents that may occur during work using this equipment. In South Korea, where heavy industry and chemical industry have developed, many accidental deaths due to non-routine work have been reported under these conditions. Non-routine work accounted for 56.5% of jamming accidents, which were caused by seven major equipment such as conveyor, mixer, food manufacturing equipment, crushing machine, injection moulding machine, press machine, and industrial robot. In addition, the employees did not fully comply with the basic safety rules, such as not turning off the power or using lockout-tagout (LOTO), during the maintenance work. Finally, various measures were proposed to prevent accidental deaths resulting non-routine work.
... Various scales have been developed for risk evaluation in the literature; they can be divided into two categories of predefined or invariant scales according to the state of evaluation. In the case of invariant scales, in the early stages of risk evaluation, scale was not used; risk evaluation was performed via percentage of occurrence (Etherton and Myers, 1990). Later, linguistic scales were used with 3-5 distinguished levels, and the assessment was made by the evaluation team's top ratings percentage (Gauthier et al., 2018;ISO 12100, 2010). ...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to generalize the traditional risk evaluation methods and to specify a multi-level risk evaluation framework, in order to prepare customized risk evaluation and to enable effectively integrating the elements of risk evaluation. Design/methodology/approach A real case study of an electric motor manufacturing company is presented to illustrate the advantages of this new framework compared to the traditional and fuzzy failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) approaches. Findings The essence of the proposed total risk evaluation framework (TREF) is its flexible approach that enables the effective integration of firms’ individual requirements by developing tailor-made organizational risk evaluation. Originality/value Increasing product/service complexity has led to increasingly complex yet unique organizational operations; as a result, their risk evaluation is a very challenging task. Distinct structures, characteristics and processes within and between organizations require a flexible yet robust approach of evaluating risks efficiently. Most recent risk evaluation approaches are considered to be inadequate due to the lack of flexibility and an inappropriate structure for addressing the unique organizational demands and contextual factors. To address this challenge effectively, taking a crucial step toward customization of risk evaluation.
... Machine-related hazardous situations have resulted in serious accidents in industries (Etherton et al., 1990;Backström and Döös, 2000;Lind, 2008). In order to reduce these hazardous situations, machines must be designed or modified by integrating risk reduction measures. ...
Article
In the risk assessment approach as defined in the International Standard ISO 12100: 2010, risk estimation is an essential step that allows machinery designers and users to determine the level of risk, and to identify the most critical hazardous situations. Previous studies demonstrated that the numerous qualitative tools proposed to estimate risks in safety of machinery take several forms, and that many of their features can significantly influence the level of risk obtained. In this study, the impact of some of these features was assessed, and construction rules regarding the parameters used in risk estimation tools were validated through an experimental study involving several users mainly from the industry. Five potential construction flaws of the risk estimation parameters were analyzed. The experimental results show that when the users perceive a certain challenge in the utilization of a risk estimation parameter, they are usually able to associate it with the presence of the flaw affecting the parameter. The results also demonstrate quite clearly that the impact of the construction flaws in the parameters is not uniform. In addition to the presence of the flaws within these parameters, the results obtained suggest that the assessment of the probability of harm is a problematic aspect of the risk estimation process in safety of machinery that requires further research. These results could contribute to the improvement of the robustness and the reliability of the existing tools, and help to support the training actually given by the partners in the risk assessment field.
... Analyses of accidents in the UK report that 50% of accident related to moving parts of machines occurred in printing presses and conveyors, while 75% of all contact with moving parts accidents occurred during interventions on machines (HSE, 2006). NIOSH analyses report up to 18,000 amputations and more than 800 fatalities per year in the US (Etherton and Myers, 1990). The incident rate according to US Bureau of Labour Statistics specifically for events related to be ''caught in running equipment or machinery'' is over 1.4 cases per 10,000 workers per year for the period [2003][2004][2005][2006][2007] in the United States, with more than 250 fatal incidents per year registered in the same period. ...
Article
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Maintenance management is connected with two opposing aspects, management costs and operational efficiency. With the implementation of new technology within the Industry 4.0 (I4.0) concept, new technical solutions are being created. These solutions (mainly robotic workplaces) must reach a maximum performance rate, production quality, and, of course, high availability. Their operation, during the whole life cycle, is expected to be absolutely safe with minimum maintenance costs. These trends, even though they seem to be optimistic, face a lot of problems. The conducted research follows up on the results of previous research aimed at the initial assessment Slovak industrial company readiness status for the I4.0 conception between 2017 and 2019. The aim of the ongoing research was to assess the readiness status in more than 70 industrial organizations in the selected area for the new concept of maintenance management (eMaintenance) and its relation to machinery integrated safety. The research was carried out by questioning, with the structure of individual questions and closed answers stemmed from the self-evaluation according to the new European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model (2020). The results of the research were presented to managements of questioned organizations and confirmed the assumptions about a low level of maintenance management transformation to eMaintenance.
Development of Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMSs) requires diverse new skills and sets new challenges for operators. It also increases the possibilities for errors. The reasons for this often lie in the organization and human factors. The purpose of this study was to clarify what effects the organization itself has when advanced manufacturing systems are being implemented. This study was carried out at 22 Finnish flexible manufacturing system (FMS) implementations. The method used was to interview the key management persons of implementation projects. For the interviews, a questionnaire about the main organizational items was utilized. The results showed that in the design process, companies have not paid enough attention to layout design, personnel involvement, and training. Deficiencies in organizational aspects have led to disturbance situations and decreased safety level in the systems. The safety and efficiency of FMS implementations can be improved by helping system designers and companies become more conscious of technical and safety aspects from the operator's point of view. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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This article sets outs a generalized utility model for the diagnosis and prediction of accidents among the Spanish workforce. Based on observational data classified into a risk-injury contingency table (19 x 19), we have summarized the accident rate of all Spanish companies over an 11-year period (75,19,732 accidents). By using correspondence analysis a structure composed of three axes can be obtained, the combination of which identifies three separate risk and injury groups, which we use as a general Spanish pattern. The relationships of greater affinity or likelihood amongst the risks and injuries identified in the pattern facilitate decision-making at the risk-assessment stage in Spanish companies. Each risk-injury group has its own characteristics, interpretable within the phenomenological framework of the accident. The main advantage of this model is its potential application to any other country and the feasibility of contrasting results from different countries. One limiting factor, however, is that the model currently lacks a common classification frame for risks and injuries which would enhance this contrast. The aim of this model is to automatically manage work-related accidents at a national level. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A number of technical developments in the area of information has enabled a wide range of advanced manufacturing applications. Despite of the developments, the numbers of industrial injuries and other health impairments have not decreased as much. Most of these problems have been found to occur at robotic workplaces. These problems can be eliminated by training workers to use safe work procedures even when the safeguard itself is adequate. In order to acquire a deep understanding of the complicated nature of safety requirements at advanced production applications, more information regarding the events and causes contributing to the injuries is needed. In view of this, the present study analyses the accident factors contributing to fatal injuries that occurred at advanced production applications as well as the incident experience at the companies with Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) applications.
The impact of production automation is one of the main issues in occupational safety and health in industrialized countries. Although very little detailed information of safety is available about man-machine systems with different levels of automation. The aim of this study was to compare the content and characteristics, as well as occupational safety of jobs differing in the level of automation. Tasks done by CNC machine tools and manually were analyzed in two engineering machine shops. The tasks were examined by the AET job analysis method, and the SDQ safety analysis method. The study showed that the change from manually operated machines to CNC technology improved safety according to most of the safety factors. Safety devices became more crucial to the safety of CNC operator's work. The more advanced technology was linked with an increased frequency of contacts with other people. The incidents that occurred illustrated the problem that the operators were not able to predict the current state of the machine. The study stresses the importance of safety engineering knowledge while automated machines are designed.
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Some estimates place the current United States industrial robot population at 17,000, with total projected installations estimated at 100,000 by 1990. Yet, like many new technologies, the industrial robot was introduced into the workplace without consideration to certain safety and health impacts. Today, only limited guidelines are available to assist informed engineering judgment in the safe installation and use of these robots. This paper evaluates steps to be taken in order to prevent robot-related traumatic injuries and fatalities following a threefold approach that addresses the design of robotic workstations, training of employees, and a conscientious effort on the part of management to provide safe working conditions.
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Each year, American workers suffer disfiguring and of-ten seriously disabling amputations as a result of their jobs. This study estimates that 21,000 such accidents took place in 1977, and attempts to isolate the indus-tries, occupations, and situations in which they were most likely to occur. Also included is a brief discussion of the medical and income maintenance costs incurred by State workers' compensation systems in settling claims of injured workers. The data. This analysis is based on 1977 data from the Supplementary Data System (SDS), which augments the Bureau of Labor Statistics' annual survey of occupation-al injuries and illnesses.' Each of the cases selected for study represents an individual who suffered a work-re-lated "amputation" or "enucleation" (such as loss of an eye) ; both of these types of injuries will be referred to as "amputations" in subsequent discussion . Two categories of cases are reported by participating State workers' compensation agencies in the SDS: "closed" and "current ." A "closed" case is one for which a worker had received all compensation and med-ical payments due for the injury by the end of the refer-ence year, regardless of the year in which the case occurred or was reported .z A "current" case, on the David P. McCaffrey, currently assistant professor of public adminis-tration at the State University of New York at Albany, was formerly with the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics .
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This paper describes a study of the after-reach hazard when a power press simulator is used. The after-reach hazard occurs when a worker reaches into a point of operation on a power press after the press cycle has been initiated. The hand-reach speed of industrial workers was measured to quantify the after-reach hazard and to determine variables that may affect after-reach movements. Significant differences in hand speed were identified, which were based on the age and gender of the worker. The location of the dual palm buttons in relation to the point of operation also significantly affected hand speed. Male workers who were 30 years of age or younger demonstrated the fastest hand speed and thus appear more likely to sustain a traumatic injury due to the after-reach hazard. The results of this study are compared with current federal standards.
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Jiang, B.C. and Gainer, C.A., Jr., 1987. A cause-and-effect analysis of robot accidents. Journal of Occupational Accidents, 9: 27–45.Reported cases of robot accidents involving fatality, injury and non-injury were gathered from several sources (U.S., West Germany, Sweden and Japan). In cases where adequate information was available a cause-effect analysis of these accidents was performed. A total of 32 accidents were analyzed in the study. The accident effects were grouped according to who was injured (line worker, maintenance worker or programmer), the type of injury (pinch-point, impact or other), and the degree of injury (fatal, non-fatal-lost-work or non-fatal-no-lost-work). The accident causes were grouped into four categories (human error, workplace design, robot design and other) with the possibility that an accident could have more than one cause. Findings indicate that line workers are at greatest risk, followed by maintenance workers and programmers. Pinch-point accidents accounted for 56% of all accidents while impact accidents accounted for 44%. Most accidents were caused by poor workplace design (20 of 32 accidents) and human error (13 of 32 accidents).A comprehensive cause-effect analysis was performed on 25 of the accidents and includes: the accident source, the accident cause, the accident effect in terms of human injury, recommended guidelines to be implemented, and applicable safety standards in each case. Conclusions are drawn on the effectiveness of worker safety training and workplace design, both a result of suggested standards.