Shrink Wrapping Equipment And Your Safety
The world of Health and Safety has a very different landscape to the one that existed twenty, and even ten years ago. In fact, it is still constantly evolving. As new equipment is developed, new risks present themselves and have to be mitigated. As unfortunate events happen, manufacturers must respond with heightened safety measures. For these reasons, all suppliers of machinery must maintain the highest standards of safety possible with their products and keep their finger on the pulse for changes in legislation and best practice.
At Yorkshire Packaging, the safety of our customers is of paramount importance.
Guarding (a machine feature which shields or covers hazardous areas of a machine to prevent contact with body parts) is very important to YPS. We are the leading supplier of shrink wrapping equipment to the U.K. and have a diverse product range consisting of manual to fully automatic machines, each with their own safety considerations. We have seen significant improvements in guarding the last decade, brought about through pressure from two angles; legislation and better machine design. CE marking, for example, used to be the accepted standard, but has slipped to being only the bare minimum standard. For this reason, all of our equipment is guarded well over and above CE marking regulations.
However guarding can still be a subjective and sometimes emotive issue and therefore, in line with our customer-centric vision, we adopt a very straightforward policy. We agree that following any risk assessment made by our customers, YPS will provide additional guarding if required, completely free of charge. This is typically only required in around 5% of installations, but we understand that all businesses have their own health and safety policies which must be adhered to, even though our equipment will always exceed the required standards anyway.
Glyn Johnson, YPS Managing Director, has found in his experience, that safeguarding can increase the complexity of machinery and its installation. Preventative safety features can make the operation of the machinery harder for handlers or even make the running speeds of the equipment slower. Glyn states:
It’s about striking the right balance between a user-friendly experience and assured safety.
Improvements in machine manufacture have come with the advancements of technology. Physical guards on YPS shrink-wrappers have been replaced by or supplemented with light curtains which have improved the design and effectiveness greatly. Even if physical guards are deliberately bypassed, operator safety is now guaranteed by these light curtains which immediately halt the equipment if any safety breaches are detected.
We have also seen the important safety issue of manual lifting affect machinery design and our customer’s requirements. Our machinery has been redesigned to keep in mind the strain on the operator when consumables including shrink film are loaded. For example, our low-level film holder negates the need to lift heavy rolls of film overhead, this is especially important for our wide inline machines for wrapping large items. Safety features which used to be optional and cost the customer extra are increasingly becoming part of the standard machinery specification.
If required all side feed and inline sleeve sealers can be supplied with low-level top and bottom film loading systems and these can be mounted at the front or the side depending upon application and choice.
All of our machinery is supplied with a physical and electronic safety manual and comprehensive operator training is carried out by our experienced and knowledgeable engineers.
So whatever your health and safety or guarding specifications are, rest assured YPS can and will meet them! Call our friendly team today on 01484 715111 for more information.
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