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  • OHSA mandatoy overseas?

    Hi guys,
    I was wondering if OHSA is a mandatory system in either the U.S. or Europe. In Australia we don't "have to" comply to any safety codes but if there is an incident then the authorities will come down hard on the facility. Lack of compliance here is generally because the relevant authority is different in each state and don't have enough officers to check compliance. If there is an incident in a centre they do not do a check of other centres to see if they comply. Also here the authority will not advise you on what should be done to comply, they give you a list of Standards and leave it to your interpretation as to how the Standards apply to your machinery. The only real advice they give is that if an incident occurs which results in injury or death you must be confident that you can stand in front of a court and say that you did everything you could to prevent the incident happening.
    Regards,

    Len.

  • #2
    In the US, short answer yes. OSHA is a federal level institution covering the workplace and beyond. Additionally, if working within certain government agencies, there are even more OSHA type programs and rules that have to be followed.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by len marsden View Post
      Hi guys,
      If there is an incident in a centre they do not do a check of other centres to see if they comply.
      Len, I don't know about other Australian States but here in Western Australia we've had several instances over the last few decades where WorkSafe (our OSHA equivalent) has done checks of every bowling centre in the Perth metropolitan area after an accident in one of them.

      We had an inspection about 2 or 3 years back and had to make a number of changes to machine guards, etc.

      One thing I've noticed is that even when you notify WorkSafe that the required work has been completed, they never come back to check to see if has been done. But, if there is another accident and they do another check of all the centres and find the previous work hasn't been done then there would be trouble (and probably big fines).

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      • #4
        That also happened at Bankstown didn't it? All the AMF centres got safety audited afterwards. They weren't impressed that the manufacture had so many guards available but none but the standard were supplied and fitted...well thats the thirdhand info I got. We paid for a worksafe safety inspection and had help drafting a Safe Systems of Work handbook along with minor machine changes.
        Factory & Converted A-2 (US, Ger, Jap)
        Comscore ECT, Matrix & DuoHD
        Walker B, Sanction Standard & Original K
        Kegel C.A.T.S

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        • #5
          The relevant standard for Australia and New Zealand is AS4024 (Safety of Machinery) and is based on the Euro safety standard. Almost all bowling centres in Australia and NZ would be found deficient when measured up against AS4024. The various state safety authorities have been very lenient when dealing with the bowling industry, so far.. It will only take one major safety incident to change that attitude.

          Read this... http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/law-a...ia-pty-limited there is a link to a pdf of the upgrade program that Bowling Centres Aust had to put forward to avoid a very large fine. All this was brought about by one preventable injury.

          Be very careful, James, most WorkSafe inspectors have a very poor knowledge of AS4024 at best. I have seen work that was signed off by WorkSafe Victoria that would not meet the requirements of AS4024. In a courtroom AS4024 would prevail...
          Chemistry is like cooking. Just don't lick the bowl.

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          • #6
            YIKES!!!!
            I know that the majority of centres would not pass even the lowest level of safety standards according to AS4024

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            • #7
              Where to start on this....

              Ultimately the buck stops with the owner of the facility.

              * They have to provide equipment that has safety guards
              * They have to be sure safety training programs are in place
              * They have to be sure safety procedures such as LOTO are being followed.
              * There has to be timely review of safety procedures and documentation for each tech.

              Unfortunately SOME owners choose to roll the dice
              * They don't pay for the extra guards that a manufacturer makes available for their equipment
              * They don't implement programs to make sure guards remain installed on the equipment
              * They don't make sure their head mechanic properly training his/her tech's in safety practices.
              * They hire techs and allow them to work on equipment without proper safety training, let alone equipment maintenance training.

              Our industry as a whole has gone away from "Factory Training Schools" due to the cost, therefore turn over is high and centers are filling tech positions with people who may have not ever had formal training on maintaining the equipment let alone safely.

              And sometimes everybody does everything right and accidents still happen, but at the minimum we owe employees every opportunity to leave work every day UN-injured.


              I have spoken with a Head Mechanic who had to assist emergency responders with removing personnel from bowling equipment that did not survive.

              The devastation and sorrow that the center staff and owner of the facility has to endure can not be imagined.

              Lives touched by such events are NEVER the same again. Spouses loose their significant other and children loose a parent all while working to lovingly feed and house their family members.


              We don't always have control over our work environments, but I think we can at least look out for one another. Make sure you are doing what you can to work with your tech's to be sure they are working safe.

              If you are a tech and have not been property trained you need to seek out advice on how to get that training.

              If you are an owner, get with your head tech and figure out what your team can do to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect one another.


              Work safe everybody!!


              Mike













              Mike Wilson
              Bowl-Tech Inc.

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              • #8
                No Mike it is up to Each individual. No guard or regulation will protect you!!! Yes as a master mechanic and PIC it is up to me to train and educate my mechanics to work in a safe manner, but it is up to them to do it. No owner wants to see anyone hurt and yes some cut corners. But If Anyone out there thinks they are working in a unsafe work place and or is in danger needs to walk away and protect themselves.
                Personal responsibility comes first.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 8230chief View Post
                  No Mike it is up to Each individual. No guard or regulation will protect you!!! Yes as a master mechanic and PIC it is up to me to train and educate my mechanics to work in a safe manner, but it is up to them to do it. No owner wants to see anyone hurt and yes some cut corners. But If Anyone out there thinks they are working in a unsafe work place and or is in danger needs to walk away and protect themselves.
                  Personal responsibility comes first.
                  Agree. We live in a big enough nanny world now.
                  Litigation is the driving force behind safety guards.

                  The world we live in caters for the lowest individual mentality. If you need a guard in place because you don't have the mental capacity to determine the possible danger of entering a working machine then perhaps you need to seek alternative employment.

                  What's next a guard on the toilet seat in case you haven't the brains to avoid drowning?

                  I agree that adequate training is the responsibility of owner/ trainer. It is during this time that an evaluation should take place to determine the individuals mental capacity to undertake the work in a safe manner. I know people who couldn't use a broom without constant supervision.

                  I feel sorry for the generations coming through where everyone is treated as being a complete idiot.

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                  • #10
                    It goes without saying that its all up to all of us...

                    However, the holder of the purse strings in the drivers seat.
                    Mike Wilson
                    Bowl-Tech Inc.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mike Wilson View Post
                      It goes without saying that its all up to all of us...

                      However, the holder of the purse strings in the drivers seat.
                      Agreed, he's the one who will be held accountable.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kanga (James) View Post
                        That also happened at Bankstown didn't it? All the AMF centres got safety audited afterwards. They weren't impressed that the manufacture had so many guards available but none but the standard were supplied and fitted...well thats the thirdhand info I got. We paid for a worksafe safety inspection and had help drafting a Safe Systems of Work handbook along with minor machine changes.
                        yeah I was working at Bankstown when those changes were made. How ironic that those changes forced upon us by work cover at the times caused more injuries at that centre than before the modifications.

                        AS REQUESTED....The all new and VERY improved "super cool" Pin_Head with super hip shades.....

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                        • #13
                          Guards on machinery do not just protect the inexperienced. They force everyone to follow specific safe work practices regardless of experience in the industry. I have seen techs with 15 years 'under their belt' get hurt because of one 'brain dead' moment. Pressure due to personal/work related issues, fatigue etc can get to all of us... Also under AS4024 it is the responsibility of the machine manufacturer to make a machine as safe as possible. There should be NO 'optional' guards or safety features.This ,of course, applies to new machinery but it is the responsibility of the owners of old machinery to make sure that ALL guards are fitted. Guards that are removed on a regular basis should also be fitted with an interlock switch, hence the requirement to fit these switches to pinwheel guards in the Enforceable Undertaking drafted by Bowling Centres Aust. It is also worth pointing out that most of BCA's XLi machines are upgraded '70s so QAMF does not have to supply all the new guards etc as they are not selling BCA a 'new' machine, just an upgrade package. However the XLi chassis does have an 'E-Stop' circuit that does make it very easy to fit extra interlock switches.

                          Pinhead, yes a good example... AS4024 is a large document, but there are single sentence points and simple paragraphs that stand out. One is that when commencing any safety 'improvements' make sure that the work will actually make the machine safer. There is also reference to machine maintenance. A well maintained, smooth running machine is a safe machine. I have been saying for years that the safest place for a tech is in the workshop, away from the machines while they are running.

                          Mike and headpin also make a good, strong statements. Safety is EVERYONE'S responsibility.
                          Chemistry is like cooking. Just don't lick the bowl.

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