To avoid cost and delays start with a contractually obligating the right people to share the right information. The short answer is a PHSR/PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) by an engineering group you trust.
It’s a well-known axiom that if everyone had all of the available information right at their fingertips, it would be easy for everyone to make the right decisions all the time. Gathering and assessing the right information, however, is the hard part of the PHSR/PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) process.
First of all, we need to know what questions to ask when we are gathering information. If we ask either an incorrect question or ask the wrong person, we may get an inaccurate or just plain wrong answer. The right information equals the right decision.
Pre-Start Health and Safety Review Process
Let me illustrate my point by providing you with an example. I was called by one of my clients recently to provide a PHSR/PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) for a machine. The supplier had sold similar machines to my client in the past, so purchasing went ahead and my client bought the machine. When I came in for a visit, the machine was already at my client’s facility, but he had realized that it might not have sufficient guarding. The client decided to fix the guarding on site because of the urgent need to have the machine operational. But I realized that the machine had to be put in a classified environment as far as the electrical code was concerned.
No provisions had been made by the client to comply with the electrical code’s requirements. Fixing the machine at the job site became an impossible task. The Occupational Health and Safety Act in Ontario requires owners or lessees of industrial machines, equipment and processes to make sure that the machine, device or process is in compliance with the Act. This compliance process is called a PHSR/PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review). It requires that a professional engineer provide a report identifying compliance with the Act. PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) considerations always must be included in the decision-making process regarding new equipment.
In this example, not having a robust information sharing process cost the price of a new machine.
The Who, When and How
People also realize that in order to ask proper questions related to compliance, one needs to understand various code requirements. Understanding multi-disciplinary issues is not an easy task. Therefore a trusted, fully insured, multidiscipline Engineering group familiar with PHSR / PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) should be consulted before a purchase decision for machinery or equipment is made. The OEM and the trusted Engineering group can be contractually obligated to work together to ensure that the machine is designed and built to be compliant. This is in the purchaser’s best interests! The responsibility for compliance lies with the owner of the equipment — and not the supplier. The expression, ‘buyer beware,’ is very much applicable to this situation.
These is surprisingly easy to do. When purchasing documents are prepared, it is easy to specify that it is the supplier’s responsibility (not the future owner’s) to provide PHSR/PSR (Pre-Start Health and Safety Review) documents with the machine. A number of companies have successfully used this approach. They specify that the service of their trusted engineer partner, specializing in PSRs will be provided.