Machinery Safety in VET

Karabulut Ş., Kademli M., Bilgin M., Okyayuz A. Ş., Kökçan R., Boztunç Öztürk N.

Erasmus Project, 2022 - 2024

  • Project Type: Erasmus Project
  • Begin Date: February 2022
  • End Date: October 2024

Project Abstract

The machinery sector is an essential part of the manufacturing industry and is the industrial mainstay of the European Union economy. The primary problem of the machinery industry, which can cause countless accidents and deaths, is machinery safety. Although the machines have been produced within the framework of essential safety rules, almost one-third (31.7 %) of all non-fatal accidents and around three-tenths (29.3 %) of fatal accidents at work resulted from losing control of a machine, tool, or transport/handling equipment in the industrial sites during 2018 in the EU (Eurostat Statistic). The social and economic costs of the large number of accidents caused directly by the use of machinery require smooth and efficient cooperation in Europe and beyond. In order to eliminate the accidents resulting from operating machinery, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union published and adopted “Machinery Safety Directive 2006/42/EC” in 2006. As a membership candidate country, Turkey also published “Machinery Safety Regulations” in 2009. On the other hand, the root of the machinery safety issue in the industry is the lack of training and awareness on this issue. However, in Vocational Education and Training (VET), there is no curriculum that includes the safety of machinery, risk assessment, safety guards, safety distances, designing of safety devices, selection and use of safety devices, electrical safety devices, safety in pressurized fluid systems, functional safety, and tagging-locking systems. Besides, this content is not included in the curricula of engineering faculties. A qualified engineer and technician training in safe machinery manufacture, use, maintenance, and repair have great importance. Hence, teaching and training staff, apprentices, VET learners, higher education students, adult learners, and other related personnel in the public and private sector need to be trained in accordance with the Machinery Safety Directive 2006/42/EC and current technological developments. On the other hand, the production systems are radically transforming based on the technological developments with Industry 4.0. Operators will have to carry out their duty in a collaboration with the machines and industrial robots, automation systems, and data-driven technologies will be integrated into the intelligent workspace (Garcia, 2019). However, the application of new processes and methods in production systems with Industry 4.0 will bring several challenges. As the advancement in technology, safety and maintenance of the entire production system is containing a serious concern for the machinery industry (Scurati et al., 2018). The safety and maintenance of processes in the industry are essential for the growth of any manufacturing facility, and new approaches are emerging that take into account not only technical but also societal needs (Martinetti et al., 2017; Martinetti et al., 2019). More skilled workers will be required to run jobs in the digitalized production systems with Industry 4.0. Therefore, today's operators should be trained to overcome the safety and maintenance problems caused by digitalization with both traditional production systems and Industry 4.0 (Martinetti, 2019). Therefore, the main challenges of today's world require innovative approaches to VET. From this point on, machinery safety training needs a future-oriented, innovative, inclusive, and digital curriculum and content. Machinery safety training, which is one of the most important deficiencies of vocational education, is very suitable to be designed and implemented digitally. Thus, occupational accidents that cause serious injuries and deaths in the industry can be greatly reduced by developing a machinery safety training curriculum. The implementation of this curriculum in a sustainable structure with digital technologies will provide the necessary participation in VET and will bring an innovative solution to the industry.