How Safe is Your Machine?

February 2, 2022

By Bob Schmidt

I know you’ve done it – tossed and turned at night with concerns that your machine(s) may not be as safe as they could be. Everybody does, whether you have hundreds of devices or one in your charge, or you’re a builder of today’s most sophisticated machines. 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: “Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded.”

OSHA regulations and the law are the least important reasons for ensuring that your machines guard properly and safely operate. It’s also critical that your team understands your machines’ safe and proper operation and why. We all want our teams to be able to go home, without a work-related injury, after every shift. We also want our operations to continue to run reliably with minimal unexpected downtime. OSHA does provide helpful information as to how you can make sure that happens. Still, it’s not always easy or possible to know all of this information as well as the latest regulations, and that’s where Buckles-Smith and Rockwell Automation can help.

Best-in-class manufacturers achieve 5%-7% higher OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and 2%-4% less unscheduled downtime. Less than half the injuries of average performers using a standard set of best practices are in three core element groups: Culture (Behavioral), Compliance (Procedural), and Capital (Technical). Safety maturity is synonymous with improving productivity and safety, whether you build machinery or use it. We guide companies through specific safety functions involving functional requirements, equipment selection, and performance level requirements. 

Our machine safety services address your needs across the entire functional safety lifecycle. We can help you protect workers and achieve regulatory compliance while improving productivity. Scalable Safety assessments identify and evaluate risks at any level, whether one machine or a complex plant. These assessments can help you make well-informed decisions around protecting workers.

  • Conformity Audits provide a high-level safety analysis of machines and can show compliance or noncompliance of predefined attributes
  • Guarding Evaluations identify hazards and suggest recommendations for immediate actions.
  • Basic Safety Assessments by one of our safety engineers include safety-improvement recommendations.
  • Team-Based Risk Assessments offer the features of basic safety assessments. They include in-depth analysis for unique or critical machines and an opportunity for the team to increase its knowledge.
  • Design Services support the development of comprehensive safety systems. We can review your safety-circuit design for compliance to a specified performance level and help make sure that your safety devices are correctly applied to protect personnel. We can also conduct a design review to help reduce hazards. 
  • Installation and Validation Services help certify proper installs of your safety system and that your machines are performing within defined parameters and regulations. We can also support your installation and validation processes with the appropriate safety products, standards, and training for your employees.


Integration and Start-Up Support help you enhance machine productivity while maintaining workplace safety. These services can include the following:

  • Circuit/logic design
  • Installation 
  • Arc flash remediation 
  • MCC arc flash upgrades 

Compliance consulting can help you comply with industry and global standards and design systems for functional safety. Our expertise can be crucial during risk assessments. As well as standards identification, system engineering, evaluation, and self-certification. Specific areas of compliance we can help you with include:

  • Functional safety (ISO 13849-1 and IEC 62061) 
  • ISO, ANSI, IEC, CE, OSHA, NFPA, and CSA compliance 
  • CE Conformance 

Rockwell Automation Training that our industry-leading experts provide can familiarize your workers with current and emerging industry standards and provide them with examples for when to apply safety components. Training programs are customized to your exact needs and can be provided either on-site or in a convenient Rockwell Automation location.

  • Safety product training educates workers about safety-product fundamentals and applications 
  • Safety standards training can help familiarize workers with global, regional, and local standards 
  • TÜV certification training is certified by TÜV Rheinland and designed to educate team members on current best practices for functional safety

Don’t let Machine Safety be a burden. We’re here to provide you with the tools and expertise you need to streamline your design or operate your equipment in a manner that lets you sleep at night, knowing your teams can go home at the end of the day and do the same.

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