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Question and Answer

What type of safety standards are available for graphic finishing operations?

by Staff

May-June, 1996
The American National Standards Institute, Inc., (ANSI) has recently approved a safety standard for stand-alone platen presses. When applied, this new standard, B65.5-1996 Safety Standard - Stand-alone platen presses, will sharply reduce the number of injuries occurring to users of platen presses. The new standard for press controls, guarding and operating procedures was approved on January 12, 1996 and will become effective one year from the date of approval - January 12, 1997. "This is an enormous step towards establishing regulations for platen and clam shell-type presses that apply specifically to our industry," stated Henry Brandtjen, co-chairman of the B65 Subcommittee that developed the new standard. The new standard includes specific guidelines on new and existing equipment, new installations or relocation of older equipment, as well as rebuilding or modifying of existing equipment.

Over the years, OSHA has been a thorn in the side of many graphic finishers mainly because it has tried to enforce standards and operating procedures in accordance with B11.1, a standard developed for "power presses." The guarding requirements and operating procedures of users of foil stamping, embossing, and die cutting presses in a graphic finishing operation are far different.

A great number of OSHA regulations are based on ANSI standards. A copy of the new ANSI B65.5 standard is available to OSHA. It is anticipated that OSHA inspectors will enforce existing OSHA regulations based on the new B65.5 standard and that eventually new regulations specific to our industry may be promulgated.

Current OSHA regulations that you should be aware of include OSHA 29 CFR 19190.212 which covers point of operation guarding, as well as OSHA 29 CFR 1910.219 that covers power transmission devices such as belts, gears, pulleys, and flywheels and certain other pinch points outside the point of operation area. Probably the most critical OSHA Regulation affecting press operators is OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147. This regulation requires all press motion be inhibited by using appropriate Lockout/Tagout procedures while performing maintenance procedures. For other procedures such as minor servicing and makeready needed during normal production, OSHA has approved an alternative method of protecting press operators in our industry called the INCH-SAFE-SERVICE method. A section of the new B65.5 Standard states:

Minor servicing activities and makeready which are routine, repetitive and integral to the use of the equipment for production, such as clearing paper jams, minor cleaning, lubricating, adjusting operations, paper webbing, foil webbing, installation or removal of die or printing form and roll changing, may be done using the INCH-SAFE-SERVICE procedure.
As you can see, this type of standard is necessary for normal operation of foil stamping, embossing, and die cutting presses. It points out that while minor servicing such as clearing a paper jam or makeready is being performed on a press, the INCH-SAFE-SAFETY procedure recognized by OSHA must be used along with appropriate safety and warning systems.

The new ANSI B65.5 Safety standard - Stand-alone platen presses is an excellent guideline for protecting users of platen press from injury. It can be used to check the safety of your existing equipment as well as any platen or clam shell press you are considering purchasing. The new standards will be especially helpful for those considering used machinery or a rebuilt or retrofitted press. Brandtjen told InsideFinishing, "A purchaser of a used or rebuilt press as well as a new press should pay careful attention to the new B65.5 Standard. Press rebuilders and press modifiers are also required to upgrade their presses to the new standards."

The American National Standards Institute has established standards for other press and binding and finishing equipment as well. These include B65.1 - 1995 Safety Standards for Printing Press Systems, B65.2 - 1988 Safety Standards for Binding and Finishing Systems, B65.3 - 1992 Safety Standard for Guillotine Cutters, and B65.4 - 1994 Safety Standard for Stand-Alone Binder Trimmers. All of the above standards are available through NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing and Publishing Technologies. Prices range between $5.00 and $20.00 for each Industry Standard. To order copies of the new ANSI B65.5 Safety standard - Stand-alone platen presses or other Industry Standards, contact NPES at (703) 264-7200 or fax your request to (703) 620-0994.

InsideFinishing would like to thank Henry Brandtjen of Brandtjen & Kluge and Mary Abbott of NPES for their contribution to this article.