Reduction in the hazard levels presented by automated production lines under fault conditions

Project No. BIA 5066


completed 11/1994


Accident statistics of the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the textile and clothing industry in recent years indicate increasing numbers of accidents on automated conveyor, sorting and storage installations. The initial cause of many accidents were technical faults which were being repaired at the time the accident occurred. The objective of this project was to identify the weak points typical of these installations, and to draw up measures to overcome them.


A hazard and fault-mode analysis was performed in agreement with the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the textile and clothing industry on an automated order batching and sorting plant. All faults occurring over 24 working days were recorded by the operator. The faults were then evaluated according to their cause, the hazard presented, and the location of the fault.


The hazard analysis revealed particularly high hazard levels in four parts of the installation, whilst the fault-mode analysis indicated five principal causes of accidents. Measures were together with the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the textile and clothing industry concieved and proposed to the machine factories for a reduction in the hazard levels presented by the installation under consideration. The measures were selected in the following order of priority and in consideration of their efficacy: avoidance of faults; design measures to prevent hazards from arising; protection against hazards by protective devices. Following implementation of the measures, their efficacy was monitored. The number of faults was found to have fallen by up to 70%, depending upon the installation section in question. Design modifications also resulted in particularly fault-prone subassemblies being relocated outside the danger zone. Troubleshooting can therefore now be performed in certain areas without the danger zone having to be entered.


F. Kreutzkampf, F. Börner: Herabsetzung des Gefährdungspotentials an automatischen Fertigungsanlagen, BIA - Projektabschluß F 5066, 1994

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA
  • Textil- und Bekleidungs-Berufsgenossenschaft


Type of hazard:

mechanical hazards


Gestaltung von Anlagen und Verfahren, Maschinensicherheit, Mechanische Gefährdung

Description, key words:

Accidents in the textiles industry, accidents occurring during the repair of technical faults, typical weak points, generation of measures, automated order batching and sorting plant, hazard and fault mode analyses, five principal causes of accidents, measures for reduction of hazards, efficacy monitoring, 70% fewer faults, subassemblies with high fault levels outside the danger zone