Now, I know how important quality and safety issues are in the manufacturing industry. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reports that Between 1999/00 and 2007/08 there has been a slight downward trend to the rate of reported major injuries to employees in manufacturing, however this year the rate has fallen by 9% since the previous year to a 10 year low of 165.5 per 100 000 employees. Overall the rate has fallen by 19% since 1999/00. The HSE also reports that the most common kinds of reported injuries to workers in all industries occur as a result of handling, or slips and trips. These also represent the most common kinds of reported injury across the manufacturing industry group as a whole. In 2008/09p, handling accounted for 34% of reported injuries to workers, and slips and trips 20%.
This is particularly good news for the industry and shows that measures are in place and working to help reduce accidents in the workplace. Also, it doesn’t need me to tell you that times are tough, so all our efforts are taken up with marketing the company, taking and quoting for sensor and system sales and designing, manufacturing and fulfilling orders.
So, I can get really downhearted when I get taken away from doing the things I love (all of the above!) to wade through a 400+ pages of official guidance in order to comply with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The latest edition, published in June 2010 can be downloaded from The European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry website. According to the site, the Directive provides a regulatory basis for the harmonisation of the essential health and safety requirements for machinery at European Union level.
But why is it so complicated? It’s certainly not bedtime reading and certain sections are so misleading. And it’s not just me, my colleagues throughout the industry are struggling with the wording and wondering why life is made so difficult for European manufacturers.
What is your experience?