SAIMC


SAIMC: Johannesburg branch

July 2019 SAIMC

SICK of safety regulations?

Ann de Beer thanks Stephen Eltze after the presentation.
Ann de Beer thanks Stephen Eltze after the presentation.

At the May meeting of the SAIMC Johannesburg branch held at SICK Automation, Stephen Eltze brought some fun into the safety discussion. As a nation of would-be taxi drivers, jaywalkers and general disregarders of any safety culture, it was refreshing the way Stephen captured our attention. The evening started with varying slides with a series of quotes from Evil Overlord Rules, all of which questioned the conventional way of doing things, as well as learning from experience.

He got things off to an interesting start by showing pictures of a textile factory from 200 years ago, with a couple of 10 year old kids working on the looms, one of them barefoot. He then divided us into two groups to answer the following questions:

1. How can safety help to improve your image?

2. Why is safety necessary for you and your company?

Some interesting responses were forthcoming. Stephen added to these, and went on to explain the differences between directives, standards and regulations and how these contribute to safety. Since all of these come from the EU, it seems that there are people who produce directives because they need something to do, seemingly to compensate for people with little or no common sense. There are apparently

25 000 pages of regulations on how to grow cabbages.

However, there is no doubt that the objective is human safety, even if it takes around five years to get to workable regulations, after which the process iterates. We were shown how the EU standards relate to the USA standards and regulations, and also how these relate to South Africa. We are not too far behind as far as the regulations are concerned, but certainly are as far as enforcement is concerned.

Stephen also covered how machinery manufacturers are required to:

• Design machines safely.

• Provide comprehensive operating instructions.

• Prepare technical documentation.

• Issue a declaration of conformity.

• Label the machine as CE compliant.

If a South African company exports machinery, all of this has to be in the language of the destination country.

Stephen made this topic interesting, fun and interactive. Our thanks go to SICK for hosting this presentation.


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