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During 2017, 47 press brake injuries were reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) one being fatal. When your press brake is set up and running correctly, and your operator is experienced, operating a press brake may seem like a relatively straightforward process. However, press brake injuries do happen to even the most experienced press brake operators. Press brake injury prevention must be considered a priority in order to keep your press brake operators and other employees safe while on the job.
Press Brake Injuries: Why are Press Brakes so Dangerous?
Typically, press brake operators are not required to place their hands or other body parts near the point of operation. However, exposure to the point of operation injuries can still occur. The access to the point of operation whether in front of the machine or behind can make the use of a press brake very dangerous. Operators may also find themselves reaching around safety devices at the end of the machine increasing their risk for press brake injuries. Additionally, with use of any press brake, there are pinch points and hazardous motions that are created by the back-gauge system. Avoiding these common danger zones are essential to keep any press brake operator safe.
In addition to the above-mentioned danger zones, press brake operating controls and the size of metal can also put the press brake operator at risk. The press brake operating controls, such as the foot pedal can cause the press break to cycle causing injury to the operator accidentally. Additionally, when forming large pieces of metal, the press brake operator must hold the stock while cycling the press brake with a foot pedal. Once the stroke begins, the stock can move creating additional risk for injury.
Furthermore, press brake dangers can also come from using a refurbished or used press brake. Used or refurbished press brakes may be cheaper to obtain however leave many questions as to whether the controls and safety system are fully operational. And lastly, press brakes rely heavily on the operator. An operator’s behavior is not always predictable which can also increase the risk of press brake injuries. Lacked safety standards, careless behavior, and inattentiveness is a recipe for disaster.
Press Brake Injury Prevention
OSHA’s machinery and machine guarding regulations (29 CFR 1910 Subpart O) require one or more guarding methods to protect operators and other employees from exposure to hazardous machine energy during the operation of press brakes.
Metal Tech Controls, believes safety should be the number one priority for all factories and mechanical shops. Running large equipment without the proper safeguards can not only negatively impact your employees but also your business. Prevent a costly mistake by utilizing one or more of our press brake injury prevention safety devices.
Press Brake Injury Prevention Safety Devices
- Laser Sentry
- Press Brake Guards
- Press Brake Sheet Follower
- Light Curtains
- Press Brake Two-Hand Control Device
- Presence Sensing Device
- Foot Pedals
- Automatic Stroke Stop System
- Fly-Off Prevention Dies
- A Two-Person Control Device
- Stepped Stopper Fingers
Metal Tech Controls products are in full accordance with OSHA standards and guidelines. However, and most importantly, we build our products for comprehensive operator protection striving to prevent and avoid workplace press brake injuries.
All press brake injuries cannot be avoided entirely. However, by utilizing our press brake safety devices and ensuring your operators are fully trained you and your employees can rest assured that the proper safety precautions have been used to the fullest.
Contact Metal Tech Controls Today
Looking for more information or ways to prevent press brake injuries at your workplace contact us today.
OSHA Standards Compliant
The Brake Master is designed to provide stop time monitoring for part revolution punch presses. It is designed to meet the safety regulations requirements of OSHA 1910.211(d) and 217. The BM 1000 Brake Master meets all published USA OSHA, ANSI, and CSA requirements.
Each time the machine comes to a stop anywhere in the cycle a stop time test is performed. The calculated stop time is compared to a failure parameter and in the event the calculation exceeds the parameter the machine is prevented from making a successive stroke until the Brake Master is reset.
To help in the proper maintenance of the machine the Brake Master provides a brake warning in the event the stopping time of the machine begins to deteriorate but does not exceed the failure parameter, allowing ample warning time to adjust or repair the clutch/brake mechanisms.
Brake Time Test
Upon installation, it is necessary to perform a stop time test of the machine to determine the brake failure parameter. This test is designed to determine the worst-case machine stop performance scenario by forcing the machine to stop at ninety degrees with the heaviest upper die installed. A sequence of ten stop times are made, then the highest stop time is multiplied by 1.25 percent to determine the failure parameter and 1.10 percent to determine the warning parameter. This test can be performed at any time and as often as desired.
The Brake Master displays the stop time in milliseconds, stop time in degrees, strokes per minute and a safe distance calculation for determining safe distance of operator controls and presence sensing safety devices.
Program batch counts and if desired perform a press top stop upon completion of the batch.
Metal Tech Controls Corp
Metal Tech Controls Corp.’s Brake Master meets all OSHA Standards. For more information, contact us any time and we will be sure to answer any questions you may have. For more information on press brake safety visit pressbrakesafety.info.
How A Press Brake Operator Is Kept Safe With Laser Sentry
The Laser Sentry provides press brake safety for the press brake operator by eliminating the hazard in a similar manner as do elevator and subway doors eliminate the hazard of the doors closing and crushing someone. In the event the doors are blocked, the doors retract automatically. Thus, eliminating the hazard! They use pressure sensitive switches to detect the presence of an object or the press brake operator. When the sensor is activated the doors retract.
Interruption of the Laser Beams
The Laser Sentry uses the interruption of lasers beam to sense objects. If any object breaks any of the three beams, press brake operator or otherwise the ram instantly retracts.
To permit the bending process the Laser Sentry determines when it is safe for the laser beam to be broken. That is, when the hazard is less than 1/4 inch.
To determine just exactly where that “safe” point is, a precision digital absolute position transducer is used. The transducer provides the rams position within .0025 inches of repeat ability.
Press Brake Operator Teaches the Laser Sentry
The press brake operator “teaches” the Laser Sentry. The press brake operator teaches the exact position of the surface part to be formed when it is resting on the lower die. This position is used by the Laser Sentry to determine the safe area of ram travel.
However the laser is not “muted” at 1/4 inch above the material as with the use of light curtains, it is muted .100 above the surface of the part being formed!
The beam is scanned between 3/16 and 1/4 of an inch under the die. This distance is determined by the reversing capabilities of the machine. The Laser Sentry tests the reversing time and this time of ram travel distance is used to determine just how far below the die the beam can be placed.
As the ram travels down or up in the case of an up-acting press and any of the beams are broken before the die reaches to within .100 of the part to be formed, the ram will retract immediately.
Slow Speed for Press Brake Operator Safety
The machine’s slow speed function is used to reduce the risk of pinching even further. As the ram approaches to within a minimum of 1/4 inch above the part, the Laser Sentry forces the machine into slow speed. In slow speed the reaction time of stopping and reversing the machine is considerably reduced. Thus, allowing a greater margin of safety as the die closes.
High Speed, Pulsed Lasers
To provide as near fail-safe operation as possible, the laser beam is pulsed at very high speed. A separate microprocessor monitors the laser pulse. It will detect any malfunction in the laser transmitter or receiver and shut down the machine.
Two safety relays that are crosschecked by both processors are provided to control the ram motion valves.
An input from the machines’ control circuit that signals the ram to move is monitored. When activated the Laser Sentry knows that ram motion is to begin and be maintained until the signal is de-activated. The Laser Sentry uses this information to monitor the output of the position transducer. Should it fail, the system will be shut down immediately.
Control reliability is provided by two microprocessors to maintain the transducer and the control the Laser Sentry’s operation. All, while cross checking each other for proper operation.
Metal Tech Controls Corp
Metal Tech Controls Corp.’s Laser Sentry meets all OSHA Standards. For more information, contact us any time and we will be sure to answer any questions you may have. For more information on press brake safety visit pressbrakesafety.info.