Product: Light Curtain

What is the difference between “Muting” and “Blanking” of a safety light curtain?

Muting is characterized as the automatic, temporary suspension of a safety function. Blanking allow portions of a light curtains sensing field to be disabled to accommodate objects typically associated with the process.

How do I calculate “Safety Distance” for a light curtain?

The minimum safety distance is dependent on the time required to process the Stop command and how far the operator can penetrate the detection zone before detection. Hazards must come to a safe state prior to an operator reaching the hazard. For the safety distance calculation, you can use the following standards in the US and Canada (ANSI B11.19, ANSI RIA R15.06 and CAN/CSA Z434-03).

Product: Rack Column Protection

Can I install a protective device on a damaged upright column?

No. Only protect undamaged components. Most upright column protective devices will hide the damage and mislead inspectors and users in believing the rack is safe.

Do we need to protect racks at every end-of-aisle?

Not necessarily. End of aisles have a high damage potential. We suggest protecting the rack uprights located in high traffic areas such as at the end-of-aisles and tunnels.

What should I do about repetitive damage occurring on the same upright columns?

The damaged components must be isolated, stabilized, and then repaired or replaced. Perform a root cause analysis to evaluate the cause of the reoccurring damage. Implement preventative procedures to address the results of the analysis. Guarding products are available that may help mitigate future damage.

Product: Building Column Protection

Is it necessary to protect exposed building columns located in traffic areas?

Yes. You should protect building columns that are exposed to potential forklift impacts. In addition to obvious safety concerns like building integrity, building column repair or replacement is a costly undertaking.

How can I protect the back frame (or X braces) of my drive-in from being damaged by pallets?

One available solution is to use pallet stoppers anchored in the concrete floor and use rail stoppers on each level.

Product: Mezzanines

What is a “Pallet Access Gate”?

Pallet Access Gates secure the ledges of elevated work platforms and pick modules, creating a fall-protection barrier where openings exist in guardrail to allow the loading and unloading of palletized material. A pallet access gate should be designed to meet OSHA, IBC and ANSI standards configured so a barrier is always in place to secure the ledge while allowing access to the pallet loads. One method to accomplish this requirement is dual counterbalanced gates.

Product: Perimeter Guarding / Fixed Distance Guarding

What is “Perimeter Guarding”?

Perimeter guarding (or Fixed Distance Guarding) is used to prevent or detect an individual entering a hazardous area through permanent barriers that cannot be removed without use of a tool or electro-optical presence-sensing safeguarding devices.

What is maximum sweep space (gap between the adjacent walking surface and bottom of guard) allowed for perimeter guarding?

The maximum ground floor sweep space must be small enough to prevent an individual from accessing the hazard by reaching or crawling below the barrier guard. Perimeter barrier guards must be designed so that the bottom of the barrier is no more than 7.8 inches (200 mm ) above the adjacent walking surface per ISO 10218-2:2011. Canadian regulations also specify a maximum opening of 150 mm (6 inches) per CSA Z434-03.

How tall should perimeter guarding be?

ISO 10218:2011 requires the top of the barrier must be no less than 1,400 mm (55 inches) above the adjacent walking surface according to ISO 10218-2:2011. The Canadian standard (CSA Z434-03) requires a minimum height of 1,800 mm (71 inches). Use the following standards to assist in determining the adequate height of perimeter guards in relation to the hazard height: Please note these are the minimum requirements and a risk assessment should be completed to calculate the safe height of the barrier.

  • ANSI B11.19-2010 – Performance Criteria for Safeguarding
  • CSA Z432-04 – Safeguarding of Machinery – Occupational Health and Safety
  • ISO 13857:2008 – Safety of Machinery – Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs.

Can I exceed the perimeter guarding requirements defined by ISO 10218-2:2011 or CSA Z434-03 by installing taller than recommended and/or lower than recommended guarding?

Yes, it is permissible to exceed these requirements.

How close can perimeter guarding be to moving equipment?

When determining the safe mounting distance for a perimeter guarding, first consider the largest opening in the guarding material. The current OSHA standard for safe distance as a function of opening size is set forth in Table O-10 of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.217 – Mechanical Power Presses. The following standards are also very helpful in determining a safe working distance:

  • ANSI B11.19-2010 – Performance Criteria for Safeguarding
  • CSA Z432-04 – Safeguarding of Machinery – Occupational Health and Safety.
  • ISO 13857:2008 – Safety of Machinery – Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs.

What are Requirements for guarding a vertical lift?

VRCs can move materials from one level to the next. VRCs are not considered elevators and are exempt from national elevator codes. They have their own national codes (ASME B20.1) listing requirements for guarding. (http://www.mhi.org/free/4572).

What is the purpose of a “Safety Interlock”?

A safety interlock can be mechanical, electrical or other type of device, the purpose of which is to prevent the operation of hazardous machine functions under specified conditions.

Product: Guard Rail

Where should Guard Rails be installed in a facility?

Where possible, guard rails may be used to create dedicated pedestrian aisle ways, which physically segregate people from industrial traffic and, therefore, increase safety on the work floor. Guard rails may be used in front of equipment or building walls. By controlling and containing vehicle traffic, guard rails prevent damage to infrastructure from inadvertent contact with vehicle traffic.

Since guard rail systems have different thicknesses, dimensions, and deflection upon impact, how close can the guard rail be installed to what I am protecting?

Heavy-duty systems should be able to provide a safety zone upon impact of up to 10 inches from the center of the guard rail. When in doubt, ask the manufacturer to provide the deflection rating for their product to be sure it meets your needs.

What are the OSHA guidelines for use of Guard Rail in a facility?

There is currently no guideline for use of Guard Rail.

Product: Rack Safety

What is Pallet Rack Guarding or Pallet Rack Backing?

Pallet Rack Guarding and/or Pallet Rack Backing refers to a type of containment guard mounted on, or adjacent to, pallet rack for the purpose of controlling spillage of stored materials. The guards may be constructed of several different types of materials from netting to wire mesh.

Is Rack Guarding (or Rack Backing) rated, and if so, are there standards for how much force it should resist?

Rack Guarding is intended to arrest or prevent product or materials from falling, or help prevent items from moving beyond a set space. It is not intended to stop mobile equipment. Currently there are no standards for the amount of horizontal force Rack Guarding should withstand, nor is there standard testing methodology.