16 January, 2018

Putting safety first

08 December, 2017

Incorrectly specified equipment, air leaks, poorly sized and installed pipework with long runs, excessive bends and fittings can all pose a health and safety risk. To help identify these potential hazards, responsible compressor systems manufacturers and suppliers offer their company’s individual compressed air system surveys, audits and recommendations within their service operations. Within recent times that approach has now been rationalised. With the implementation of the approved European Standard EN ISO 11011 it is now possible for them to offer safety advice together with standardised assessment, surveys and recommendations on a level playing field with other suppliers.

What else can be done to improve safety?

It is true to say that despite the best efforts of equipment suppliers, the official guidance and the stringent legal requirements that are in place, there remains concern that there are still too many cases of compressed air systems being operated without consideration of regulations, a disregard that is not only dangerous but clearly illegal. Unfortunately, realisation of the need for compliance sometimes results after a safety event and the harsh reality of an insurance claim.

Hopefully, more users will realise that focussing on safety can positively impact on productivity and profitability. In keeping with this, companies are advised to partner with compressed air equipment manufacturers who have integrated a QSHE culture within their own processes, from product development to manufacturing to field service.

Continued product developments mean that compressor systems offer constant safety improvements, measures that have increased dramatically over the past decade, culminating with smart technology that can detect anomalies before they occur. In the drive to achieve the levels of product quality, performance, energy efficiency and sustainability demanded by today’s industrial economy, leading manufacturers respond by offering improved equipment features, including the safety characteristics, of all vital components.

With the increasing adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity principles, more and more compressed air systems are now collecting and providing live performance data about running temperatures and pressures. This information enables field engineers to maintain a pro-active dialogue with equipment users and to identify any potential problems that can be eliminated to ensure optimum on-site safety – knowledge that can ultimately be incorporated within future product design developments.

Although individual supplier organisations may operate a highly integrated safety reporting and action follow-up system, at present there are no formal accreditation schemes for designing, installing, and maintaining a compressed air system. Maybe this is an area of concern that the compressed air industry at large should address. Meanwhile, a concerted effort to educate and encourage safety culture at the point of use should be viewed as a priority by all concerned.

www.atlascopco.com




Events
 
Buyers' Guide Search
 
Search for UK supplier by name
Browse by Product Group.
Magazine
Magazine To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine, click here.

For a FREE subscription please click here

Previous IssueTo view a digital copy of the October issue of Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine, click here.

For a FREE subscription please click here

Buyers Guide - July/August Issue 2017To view a digital copy of the Buyers' Guide issue 2017 issue of Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine, click here.

July/August 2017 Annual Buyers Guide Issue
BFPA YearbookTo read the latest BFPA Yearbook, click here
BFPA Training AcademyClick the image to go to the BFPA Training Academy website
Compressed Air & Vacuum Technology Guide 2018To read the official BCAS Compressed Air & Vacuum Technology Guide 2018 click here
Smart Machines & FactoriesSmart Machines & Factories Magazine - the UK's first dedicated journal focusing on the fourth industrial revolution and transforming to a smart manufacturing era.
Newsletter
 
Newsletter