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The use of simulation for developing safe workstation designs for mechanical power presses.

Collins-JW; Pizatella-TJ; Etherton-JR; Trump-TR
J Saf Res 1986 Jun; 17(2):73-79
The use of simulation for the assessment of human performance and equipment suitability on specific tasks to improve workstation design for mechanical power presses was described. Variables can be measured which will have an impact on operator safety and injury prevention for those operating power presses. A typical production stamping process was simulated during which the number of press cycles initiated was measured along with the number of accidents that occurred during the simulation. In another simulation study the power press simulator was applied to presses equipped with foot controls, with particular attention given to accidents resulting from the inadvertent foot switch actuation error. Use of such equipment enables the supervisors to determine whether their workers were performing their tasks at dangerously high cyclic rates. If this was the case, steps can be taken to bring the work rate down within the critical limits once again, thus reducing accidents occurring on these types of machines. Accidents occurring on industrial presses frequently were the result of the after reach hazard, brought into play when a worker reaches into the point of operation after initiating the downward stroke of the press ram. Simulation of this procedure was used to determine whether the operators were following current OSHA standards which require the use of a formula for calculating the safe distance away from the point of operation for locating dual palm buttons on a power press. If this formula was followed, the operator, after initiating the downstroke, should not be quick enough to reach into the critical point and receive injury. Use of this method enabled the industrial engineers to design safer workstation arrangements.
NIOSH-Author; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring
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Journal of Safety Research