Machine Safety - Automatic Bandsaws

Hi all,

I'm currently looking over an automatic bandsaw with an aperture size of 460*460mm, assessing against ISO 16093. Bit of background into the problem I'm facing, then I'd like some feedback on my current solution.

Under clause, it states
providing distance guards to ensure that the hazard zone cannot be reached the length of the
distance guard [tunnel guard, see ISO 14120:2015, 3.2.2) shall be at least 550 mm (forearm length
according to ISO 13857:2008, Table 3) [see ISO 13857 as appropriate for the type of safeguarding)

Taking that clause to mean we are to apply ISO 13857(equivalent to AS/NZS4024.1801), Table 3 states the 550mm distance referenced is only applicable for openings <120mm (square, round, or slot). From Table 5, openings larger than 180mm slot or 240x240 square or round will allow whole-body access.

Referring back to ISO 16093, alternative methods of safeguarding under are around limiting stroke distance (not practical), restricting speed (not practical), using two-hand control (machine is fully automatic), fixed guarding (not practical to enclose infeed and outfeed tables too), or the use of an active optoelectronic protective device (AOPD).

Due to the environment, AOPDs are likely to be damaged and have false trips due to vibrations and dust build-up, so I would like to avoid them if possible (also, the high cost isn't the best).

My current solution is to apply AS/NZS4024.3410 (EN415-10) to the apertures (Packaging machinery general requirements). This will allow for an opening up to 500x500 with the use of tunnel guards, conveyors (outfeed tables), alternative means of access (interlocked doors), and signage to mitigate the risk. There is also minimal motivation to reach through/enter the aperture, as there is no foreseeable reason an operator would need to enter the area while the machine is running.

Does anyone else have thoughts on ways to tackle this risk? Am I misinterpreting the standards? Any feedback is much appreciated!
Please provide details and dimensions of what you are cutting with the bandsaw. AOPD and muting might be a solution but need more details. The cost of safety is a lot cheaper than the cost of an operator being injured.

Signage is an administrative control, this should only be used if the risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by Substitution, Isolation or Engineering Controls. An operator will find a reason to enter the area if it will keep production numbers up or save them time, don’t expect operators to have the reasoning of an engineer.