The acceptance and testing of new machinery is a critical activity in the purchasing process of companies.
In this phase the factory staff is usually involved for the aspects of production functionality and, only secondarily, the safety manager (RSPP).
Machine acceptance: verification of obvious defects
The RSPP (Plant Safety Officer) should check that the new machine does not have any obvious defects in relation to the safety requirements of the Machinery Directive before it is made available to workers for its intended use.
Often this check by the RSPP is not carried out immediately when the machinery enters the factory, but only later, during periodic reviews and inspections.
This is mainly the case if the security personnel are external to the company.
This delayed way of proceeding makes it very difficult to challenge the manufacturer of the machine for any shortcomings and construction problems on safety.
To aggravate the situation, potentially dangerous machinery is made available to workers.
If you are a Safety Officer you know that very often even machines with CE marking do not actually meet the requirements of the Machinery Directive .
Sometimes it is enough simply to check the declaration of conformity to discover that standards that are no longer valid and have been replaced long ago are mentioned, or other inaccuracies that immediately suggest a lack of competence by the manufacturer.
From our more than twenty years of experience, most of the machinery placed on the market do not meet the safety requirements set by the Machinery Directive.
Machinery safety checklist
To carry out the verification of the safety of the machines, both in the acceptance phase and during the periodic verification, checklists can be prepared which facilitate checks by the RSPP.
We can help you in the preparation of checklists as well as organize training sessions, in the classroom and through coaching in the factory, for the correct use of the checklists.
In this regard, we have designed a specific course, initially for one of our customers in the automotive sector, who delegated us an intervention in 2016 to check all the existing machines in the Italian and European plants.
In the meantime, he has asked us to check all new machines coming into the company, sometimes still on stock at suppliers.
This project, which is still continuing with acceptance activities, has achieved the goal of having the customer's approximately 2600 machines meet safety requirements and has raised the safety culture of all the company's suppliers/partners.
The result, after an initial adjustment period, was one of mutual satisfaction for the customer and suppliers.
Avoid the safety problems of purchased machinery
There are some ways to minimize them: probably the best method, as anticipated above, is the verification of the machine at the manufacturer, before the delivery of it.
This procedure is not always possible, and sometimes expensive for logistical reasons, but it allows to evaluate with the manufacturer any non-conformities present on the machine, to agree on the best solutions to guarantee its usability and to create know-how in the supplier.
By training new skills in machine suppliers, a relationship of trust is created between customer and supplier and our customers can reduce future verification costs.
It is also possible that this activity is carried out by internal staff of the client company, suitably trained by us on the verification methods.
The final acceptance of the machine in the factory therefore takes place only when the manufacturer has resolved all the non-conformities found during the verification as agreed.
No worker is exposed to the risks of unsafe machines.
The most common method, on the other hand, is to test the machine during functional acceptance by the production.
Also in this case, acceptance can be carried out by the appropriately trained internal Safety Officer, perhaps using special checklists, or by a specialised external technician, such as ourselves.
Machinery acceptance: what we can do for you
The important thing is to define a business goal, which can be immediate (verify a single machine) or long-term (make sure that all new machinery purchased are safe).
For example, we can create a shared methodology for accepting machinery in the company, especially if the company has different offices.
It is then possible to train the internal staff, in charge of safety, by supporting them to carry out the checks using appropriate checklists.
Or our technicians can carry out acceptance checks and discuss necessary changes with suppliers.