New! Revitalized machine safeguarding standard

Jan 17, 2017

machineA lot has changed in the last 12 years when it comes to machine safety: technology, hazard combinations, solutions, and even the scope of health and safety. These changes have prompted a comprehensive updating of CSA's 2004 (R2014) machine safeguarding standard.

CSA Z432-16, Safeguarding of Machinery reflects "the tremendous amount of time and effort put into revising it," says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. "New sections and thoroughly updated material will provide workplaces with valuable information for protecting workers who operate or maintain machinery." WSPS consultants like Michael are on hand to help you understand the changes, and how they affect your workplace.

What's new

Like the previous edition, CSA Z432-16 sets out requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance, operation, and safeguarding of industrial equipment. According to CSA, the new standard "applies to newly manufactured, rebuilt and redeployed machinery, but may also be used to set upgrade targets for existing machinery."

Changes include:

  • focus on new technology. "There's more information on the classification of lasers and related safeguarding and training measures, plus expanded information on sensitive protective equipment (safety light curtains, safety beams, laser scanners, pressure sensitive protective devices - mats, edges and bumpers - as well as vision based protective devices."
  • more information on identifying hazards. "Annex A was amended and includes discussion on many types of hazards - chemical, biological, physical, energy and explosion. All are covered in the new standard."
  • a revised section on risk assessment. "Clause 5 does a thorough job of walking users through that process," says Michael, "What it would look like, what to consider, who should be involved, and how to move through it." For a deeper look, users can refer to CSA Z1002, Risk Assessment.
  • alignment with international/other standards on machinery design and performance. "The document harmonizes with ISO standards as well as other CSA standards so the information is seamless," explains Michael.
  • a new annex discussing psychosocial hazards. "I think it's fantastic that this information has been added. It's just like mechanical, thermal or noise hazards. What goes on in that person's head also needs to be considered when it comes to selecting safeguarding options."

With changes come challenges

Z432-16 "is going to be valuable to anybody who’s looking at machine safeguarding," says Michael. "It will help workplaces comply with their legislative requirements to protect workers."

But there needs to be an understanding of the changes and how they can apply in real life. "Obviously, there's some time and effort that needs to be put into that," says Michael. "Everybody's going to have their own particular set of circumstances so it's about understanding what the document says and how you might roll that out in real life."

For example, the professional engineer who carries out your next pre-start health and safety review for new equipment will base his findings on the new standard. "You won't be able to understand and follow those recommendations if you are not familiar with the new standard," says Michael.

If the prospect of poring over the comprehensive document seems daunting, WSPS consultants can help. "The standard speaks to risk assessment and application requirements for individual safety devices," explains Michael. "So when a customer comes forward and says to the consultant, 'You know we have this problem. What options are out there?' the consultant can help explain the information in the standard. And the customer will be in better position to make an informed decision on how they want to proceed."

Coming soon

Starting in spring 2017, WSPS is launching a one-day partnered course with CSA - Safeguarding of Machinery: Understanding and Applying Z432. Participants will leave the course with a good familiarity of the standard and how it can be applied in real life.

Watch for updates on CSA Z432-16 training in an upcoming issue of WSPS eNews.