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26 Nationwide machine safety initiative for small metal fabrication businesses
  1. S Yamin1,
  2. Parker1,
  3. Brosseau2,
  4. Gordon3,
  5. Bejan1,
  6. Skan1
  1. 1Park Nicollet Institute, St. Louis Park, United States of America
  2. 2University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States of America
  3. 3Interrobang Group, Minneapolis, United States of America


Machine-related injuries are a persistent risk for workers in fabricated metal products manufacturing. Smaller establishments are of particular concern because these firms typically have limited access to safety and health resources. A research partnership with worker’s compensation insurers was created to develop, implement, and evaluate a program to help small (< 150 employees) metal fabrication businesses prevent machine-related injuries. The National Machine Guarding Program is a widely applicable, sustainable machine safety intervention being delivered on-site to firms throughout the US.

A fundamental objective of this intervention is to assist metal-working firms with interpretation and implementation of applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Beyond this, the partnership has developed methods and materials to help small businesses establish their own programs and policies within four topic areas: safety leadership, lockout/tagout, job hazard analysis, and machine safeguarding.

Each participating business will receive four on-site visits: a baseline safety evaluation, intervention delivery visits at 3-months and 6-months, and a follow-up safety evaluation at 12 months. Insurance safety consultants serve as field staff for this program and receive extensive training to perform machine safety audits and deliver the intervention.

Technical checklists are used to evaluate 26 different types of metal fabrication machinery. Checklist data are entered into software developed for this project. The software compiles category scores from all checklist responses into a concise report that is provided to each business.

The presentation will provide attendees with an understanding of the design, implementation, and evaluation of a computerised safety management system for metal fabrication industries. Preliminary results will be presented as a summary of baseline machine safety data collected at participating businesses during 2012–2013.

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