RE: Another tragic case of not reading the manual

Subject: RE: Another tragic case of not reading the manual
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 15:09:15 -0400

John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com> wrote on 08/14/2003 01:52:57 PM:
>Daniel_Hall -at- trendmicro -dot- com wrote on 08/14/2003 01:33:18 PM:
> > But in this case, the user _is_ to blame. You have to wonder
> > what could be done to save someone willing to climb deep into
> > a machine where the temperature was 167F minutes before. It's

> You would be AMAZED at what unskilled workers will do if
> they think that by
> not doing it, their job would be jeopardized, even if in
> reality, management flips if it IS done.

I'm behind John and appalled at Daniel's attitude towards worker safety.
By Daniel's logic, why put any warning signs or safety shields on any
piece of equipment? I you're too stupid to not be near the spinning saw,
the live power, the moving gears, well it's YOUR fault you got injured.
Thankfully that kind of thinking hasn't been too widespread since the
beginning of the industrial revolution when children were used to clean
and clear machinery while it was running.
Under the pressures to perform, workers WILL take shortcuts to speed up,
Managers WILL push them to work faster. That's why signs, shields, and
lockout devices are around. First, safety has to be designed into the
machine. Shields to block access to dangerous areas. Lockouts that have to
be activated in a certain way to ensure workers are out of the way when
the machine operates. Signs for areas/aspects that cannot be shielded and
for which lockouts cannot be provided.
In the situation described, the door has to be able to be opened while
still hot. There's no need for the laundry to cool between loads. That
would hobble production. Workers WILL have to enter the machine on
occasion as there WILL be jams. Exposure to the temperatures that killed
the worker are not lethal for in and out operations. I this case the
worker died after HOURS of exposure because rescuers could not get to him.
It seems to imply that if the access panel was opened and cool air and
water were given to the worker immediately, there would have been no loss
of life. Therefore, the problem is one of signage and procedures. Signage
clearly showing the access panels and reminding workers of correct
procedure. Correct procedures to limit the possibility of getting trapped
and procedures for rescuing someone who is.
By Daniel's logic, a worker in Montreal that was killed at a food
processing plant because someone turned on the giant meat grinding machine
they were in cleaning was at fault for their own death. The real culprit
is the designers and operators who hadn't installed a lockout/tagging
system on the controls.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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