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Procter Machine Guarding is offering a free Safety Distance Calculator for establishing the required safety distances and heights of machine guards in accordance with relevant standards.

The calculator works to the standard BS EN ISO 13857, ‘Safety of machinery – Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs’ (EN ISO 13857 is effectively an amalgamation of EN 294 and EN 811, the superseded reach distance standards for upper and lower limbs, respectively).

This utility may be useful for machine designers and those responsible for ensuring that existing machine guards comply with the current standard’s requirements.

The Safety Distance Calculator features drop-down menus from which the user selects the application risk level (high or low), the horizontal distance to the hazard and the height of the hazard.

In response, the calculator immediately displays the required height for the protective structure.

Additionally, the calculator gives the safety distances for slots, round, square and irregularly shaped apertures through which a person could reach.

Full instructions are provided on how to use the Safety Distance Calculator, while ‘Help’ buttons and notes about the minor differences between the Safety Distance Calculator and BS EN ISO 13857 are provided.

Although it is based on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, no knowledge of this software package is required in order to use it.

All of the calculations are performed automatically, leaving the user to select values from drop-down menus and decide whether the application is low or high risk.

Procter Machine Guarding recommends that a risk assessment is always performed, for which the company offers a free Risk Assessment Calculator.

If users require further assistance with calculating safety distances, Procter Machine Guarding can either help directly or put people in touch with appropriate experts.

To request a copy of the free Safety Distance Calculator, use the facility on this page or go to the ‘Free Downloads’ section of the Procter Machine Guarding website.

Procter Machine Guarding

Procter Machine Guarding is the UK's leading machinery guarding specialist. From its sites in Leeds and south Wales, Procter offers a comprehensive service to survey, design, manufacture and install machine guards nationwide. Guard types available range from standard products for workshop machine tools through to modular perimeter guarding and bespoke machine guards. All are designed and manufactured in accordance with the latest health and safety requirements. In addition, Procter Machine Guarding offers acoustic enclosures, access platforms and modular cable ducting.

To complement the guarding products, the company provides services including site guarding surveys and compliance surveys. If required, Procter can also be a single point of contact for risk assessments, PUWER assessments, design services and safety-related control systems.

Procter Machine Guarding has developed a number of guides and interactive utilities, all of which can be downloaded free of charge from the company's website. These include a BS EN ISO 14121-1 Risk Assessment Calculator, a BS EN ISO 13857 Safety Distance Calculator, a Guide to the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, a Guide to Machinery Guarding Standards, a Guide to Workshop Safety, and a Machine Accident Investigation Kit.

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