IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail


Machine Safety and Reduced-Energy Operating Mode: Determining Safe Values

Machine Safety and Reduced-Energy Operating Mode: Determining Safe Values

The moving parts and tools of industrial machinery are hazards that expose workers to risks of crushing, being caught and drawn in, cutting, impact, pinching/entrapment, etc.

The Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (ROHS) states in section 188.2 of that before beginning any maintenance on a machine, it must be shut down and lockout must be applied. However, there are situations when a worker must access a machine’s danger zone for adjustment, unjamming, maintenance, apprenticeship or repair purposes, including for detecting abnormal operations. This work often requires that a guard be moved or removed or that a protective device be neutralized in the danger zone of a machine that must remain, in whole or in part, in operation. In such a situation, a rigorous analysis will help to assess the risks associated with the machinery in question.

The IRSST is publishing a decision assistance tool for people who use, design, modify, inspect and integrate reduced-energy operating modes on industrial machinery.

This tool indicates a number of values for reduced speed, reduced force, reduced energy and reduced pressure taken from the literature. It also provides guidelines and specifies the aspects to consider in designing, using and modifying machines with a reduced-energy operating mode. Moreover, it provides a list of factors which have to be taken into account in designing a reduced-energy operating mode.