I. Basic matters
1 The nature and problems of press machine
(1) The incidence of accidents
Based on a review of recent press machine
accidents, the major problems concerning press machine accident
prevention are as follows.
A. While press machine accidents have shown
a declining trend, the pace of this downturn has slowed down in
recent years, with a reported 2,400 accidents involving fatalities
and injuries in 1997, 40 percent of which resulting in physical
B. By operational method, accidents involving
foot-pedal press machine, which constitute some 20 percent of
the total in terms of the number of press machine installed, constitute
the bulk of these accidents.
C. In terms of the types of clutche, the ratio
of accidents caused by positive clutche press machine, which occupied
the highest share in the past, has substantially decreased. In
turn, the ratio of accidents caused by friction-clutch press machine
has now become the highest.
D. An appraisal of the state of safety measures
with respect to press machine involved in accidents reveals that
those lacking safety devices, etc., including the device specified
in the proviso of Paragraph 1, Article 131 of the Ordinance on
Industrial Safety and Health (MOL Ordinance No. 32, 1972; hereinafter
called the "Ordinance"), constitute some 40 percent
among total accident cases, and those which had safety device,
etc., but the functions and/or installation methods were defective
or improper represent approximately 25 percent. This means that
accidents involving press machine whose safety device, etc., were
inadequate make up some 65 percent of the total.
E. An examination of the behavior of workers
at the time of accidents indicates that many accidents involved
unsafe activities, such as using one's hands instead of hand tools
and/or removing safety device. Such accidents show a slow declining
trend while the total number of press machine accidents has been
F. By type of business, many accidents occur
in metal product manufacturing, general machinery and tool manufacturing,
transportation machinery and tool manufacturing, etc.
(2) Overview of safety steps for press machine
With respect to the general implementation
of safety steps for press machine, there are still many workplaces
that have press machine for which the steps in Paragraph 1 or
2, Article 131 of the Ordinance are not taken.
At the same time, the ongoing progress in
the introduction of presence sensing device initiation equipment
(hereinafter referred to as "PSDI") is creating the
need for disseminating knowledge on safety management that remains
abreast of the functions and characteristics of such equipment.
(3) Situation regarding the appointment of press
machine operation chief, etc.
There are still many workplaces with five
or more units of power-driven press machine involved in press
machine work where no press machine operation chief has been appointed,
or where such an appointment is made but the actual duties are
(4) Situation regarding the implementation of
special voluntary inspections
There are still many workplaces where special
voluntary inspection is not conducted. Moreover, as there are
many cases in which such inspections do indicate abnormalities
in positive clutche press machine, it is necessary to thoroughly
undertake appropriate steps such as proper repairs in such cases.
(5) Situation regarding the proper reporting
The reporting of plans based on Article 88
of the Industrial Safety and Health Law (Law No. 57, 1972; hereinafter
called the "Law") in case of newly installing or changing
power-driven press machine is not thoroughly implemented.
2 Emphasized measures
(1) Promoting the safety of press machinery
In order to prevent press machine accidents,
the safest measure is to take the "no hand in dies"
approach, which prevents any part of the body from entering the
danger limit by using such means as installing safety enclosures
as described in Paragraph 1, Article 131 of the Ordinance. While
this is the basic step among measures that should be promoted,
accident prevention steps that use the safety presses as prescribed
in the proviso of Paragraph 1, Article 131 of the Ordinance shall
be taken in cases where the "no hand in dies" approach
is difficult to apply due to the nature of the work. It is necessary
to take accident prevention steps by installing the safety device
prescribed in Paragraph 2, Article 131 of the Ordinance only in
cases where the use of safety presses is also difficult.
A specific safety promotion measure that is
effective for many types of press machine is to switch from foot-pedal
operation to the use of push buttons that require both hands to
operate. In all cases, however, it is necessary to give particular
attention to improvements that adopt the "no hand in dies"
method as a fundamental accident prevention measure.
(2) Full implementation of press machine safety
With respect to safety device and the safety
mechanisms of safe presses (hereinafter called "safety device,
etc."), it is important to fully implement the appropriate
selection, use, etc., of press machine safety device, etc., in
order to prevent accidents stemming from the failure of safety
device, etc., to function effectively. Such reasons are often
related to the fact that the type of safety device, etc., are
not appropriate for the type of press machine or the work contents,
and/or the usage method is not appropriate due to such reasons
as an insufficient safety distance.
This requires that careful attention and consideration
be given to appointing a press machine operation chief, etc.,
and that the duties of this appointee be thoroughly carried out.
In addition, it is necessary that positive safety management activities
centered around the press machine operation chief be implemented
through safety education, etc., for employers, press machine operation
chiefs and press workers.
(3) Effective measures in accordance with the
situation at workplaces where press machine is installed
In large-scale workplace and his affiliate
company group, it is important to make efforts to establish an
organization to discuss safety related to press machine and to
carry out voluntary safety activities through this organization,
and that multiple subcontractor be included in these activities.
In industrial accident prevention organization,
press-related industrial association, etc., it is necessary to
make efforts to enhance voluntary safety activities including
the promotion of new membership by non-member workplace that have
press machine installed. Moreover, in small and medium-sized workplace
where it is difficult to fully take press machine accident prevention
steps due to technical and financial reasons, it is important
to carry out continuous voluntary safety activities by receiving
external technical guidance, etc., as well as by utilizing various
assistance systems such as the safety loan system.
II. Specific implementation items
1 Implementing safety activities such as establishing
an organization for safety management
(1) Establishing an organization for management
Safety supervisors, safety and health promoters,
press machine operation chief, etc., shall be appointed in accordance
with the scale of the workplace, the situation of press machine
work, etc., and the respective scope of his responsibilities and
work assignments shall be clarified.
(2) Deliberations at the safety committee
The safety committee shall discuss and deliberate
such matters as the preparation of rules on press machine work
safety and the prevention of dangers concerning press machine
to be newly introduced.
(3) Scrupulous management by operation chief,
In order to firmly establish the maintenance
and inspections of press machine and appropriate work in the workplace,
the necessary number of press machine operation chief shall be
appointed to fully carry out the assigned duties in consideration
of the number of press machine units installed, the situation
of press machine work, etc., and the management responsibilities
and authority for each press machine unit shall be clarified to
promote the establishment of safety management activities. For
this purpose, the appointment of press machine operation chief
shall be implemented without fail where required. In addition,
workplace not required to make such appointment shall designate
personnel in charge of Items 1, 2 and 4, Article 134 of the Ordinance,
and shall instruct such personnel to take charge of the practical
application of the following matters.
In addition, the name of the press machine
operation chief, etc., in charge of the management, as well as
the names of personnel in charge of installing and adjusting metal
dies and safety device for each press machine unit shall be conspicuously
A. Special voluntary inspection and checks
before starting work
The special voluntary inspection based on the inspection items, inspection
methods and judgment standards stipulated in the periodical voluntary inspection
guidelines for power-driven press machine (Voluntary Inspection Guidelines
Notice No. 18, 1997), shall be established and checks shall be fully implemented
before the start of work.
B. Safety inspections
In order to maintain the safety and functions
of machines and equipment, safety inspection manuals shall be
prepared that stipulate the personnel in charge of inspection,
specific inspection items, inspection methods, judgment standards
for acceptance and rejection decisions, inspection timing (frequency),
etc., and such inspection shall be fully implemented on the
basis of such manual.
The definite implementation of these inspections
shall be confirmed by the press machine operation chief, etc.
C. Early detection of abnormalities (faults)
Any abnormalities observed as the result
of said safety inspections and special voluntary inspection,
or any abnormalities (faults) detected during work processes
shall be reported to a superior manager such as a foreman. In
such an event, the foreman, etc., receiving such a report shall
immediately suspend the work, and take appropriate repair steps
by contacting outside specialist organizations such as the manufacturer
of the press machine if necessary.
2 Promoting press machine safety
(1) Steps to secure the safety of press machine
In preventing press machine accident, the
steps specified in Paragraph 1, Article 131 of the Ordinance should
be undertaken as a fundamental measure. Accordingly, it is necessary
to limit the number of press machine units that require other
safety measures as much as possible. Safety steps involving the
installation of safety device as specified in Paragraph 2, Article
131 of the Ordinance shall be taken only in cases in which the
usage of the fundamental measure alone is difficult due to the
nature of work.
A. Steps under Paragraph 1, Article 131 of
As steps to prevent any body part from entering
the danger limit, safety measures that include one or more of
the following shall be adopted: using press machine equipped
with safety enclosures (i.e., those that enclose the danger
limit, thus preventing hands and fingers from entering); the
use of safety dies (i.e., metal dies constructed with an aperture
of 8 mm or less, thus preventing any body part from entering);
using exclusive press machine (i.e., those that can be used
for specific purposes only, and which have a structure that
prevents any body part from entering the danger limit); or using
automatic press machine (i.e., those in which the materials
are automatically fed and discharged).
However, in case it is difficult to take
steps to prevent hands from entering the danger limit, such
as the need for large apertures for feeding and discharging
materials due to the nature of work, safety press machine equipped
with a safety mechanism at the time of manufacturing shall be
B. Steps under Paragraph 2, Article 131 of
Only in cases in which it is difficult to
take the steps prescribed in Paragraph 1, Article 131 of the
Ordinance in A above due to the nature of work, the following
safety device shall be installed: units with movable barriers
(safety device); unit with two-hand control (safety device);
unit with PSDI functions; unit with photoelectric beams (safety
device); unit with pull-out function (safety device); or unit
with sweeping functions (safety device). In addition, efforts
shall be made to further improve safety by installing multiple
safety device or using a structure that does not allow safety
features to be easily removed or deactivated.
With respect to the installation of such
safety device, care shall be taken to ensure that enclosure-type
safety device cover all moving parts of the machine except for
apertures where materials are inserted or removed.
(2) Appropriate selection and management of
The appropriate selection and use of safety
device shall be thoroughly carried out on the basis of the guidelines
prescribed in Labor Standards Bureau Notice No. 446-2 (Guidelines
for Safety Device Management of Press machine) dated July 9, 1993,
and the safety standards indicated in Labor Standards Bureau Notice
No. 130 (Special Cases in Applying Press Machine or Shearing Machine
Safety Device Structural Standards and Power-Driven Press Machine
Structural Standards to Presence Sensing Device Initiation Equipment)
dated March 26, 1998, and steps in the installation, use, maintenance
management, etc., of PSDI prescribed in Labor Standards Bureau
Notice No. 130-4 (Handling of Presence Sensing Device Initiation
Equipment) dated the same.
(3) Switching from foot-pedal to both-hand push
As many accidents still occur in the case
of press machine operated by foot-pedals, it is important to switch
from foot-pedal operation to push button operation requiring both
hands for press machine that involve not only positive clutche
but also for friction clutche as well. In making such a switchover,
it is necessary to improve the metal die or use a pedestal for
operation that require holding the processing object by hand.
In this connection, implementing the switchover from foot-pedal
operation of press machine with friction clutche to push buttons
that require both hands shall be positively carried out by conforming
to the procedures outlined Labor Standards Bureau Notice No. 459-2
(Determining the Guidelines To Switch From Foot-Pedal to Two-Handed
Push-Button Operation in Press Machine with Positive Clutche)
dated July 15, 1994.
In switching press machine with positive clutche
to two-handed push-button operation, there are many cases in which
it is generally difficult to secure a safe distance. As installations
of this type do not conform to the steps prescribed in Paragraph
2, Article 131 of the Ordinance, due attention must be given in
such cases to the appropriate use of pull-out safety device.
(4) Improving the safety of press machine operation
In addition to promoting the safety of press
machine, safety device and related equipment in order to prevent
press machine accidents, work standards shall be prepared and
efforts shall be made to ensure that all operation are organized
and implemented on the basis of these work standards. Such work
standards shall cover not only regular operation, but also non-regular
operation such as safety inspections, steps at the time of abnormalities,
and the installation and adjustment of metal dies and safety device.
(5) Using proper metal dies
In order to prevent accidents caused by the scattering of metal parts from
dies broken at the time of processing, metal dies shall be properly designed
and manufactured on the basis of the technical guidelines concerning the
safety standards for metal dies used in press machine (Technical Guidelines
Notice No. 9, 1977), and inspection shall be carried out before use, and
appropriate life-cycle management shall be implemented.
In addition, in order to prevent accidents
during operation to replace metal dies (which are heavy objects),
appropriate safety measures such as reducing the manual labor
in handling metal dies shall be carried out.
(6) Securing safety at the manufacturing and
Press machine, safety device and metal die
manufacturers shall make efforts to conform to the structural
standards as well as make efforts to manufacture safer press machine,
etc. In addition, they shall establish maintenance structures
that can appropriately deal with repair requests from user.
Under the proviso of Article 88 of the Law,
moreover, employer installing or changing power-driven press machine
shall full comply with all reporting requirements in submitting
such plans to the applicable labor standards inspection office.
Each manufacturer shall also inform users of the system to report
3 Safety education
The legally required safety education programs
such as education for press machine operators at the time of hiring
as well as special education related to such topics as handling
metal dies shall be fully implemented. In addition, positive steps
shall be taken to encourage participation in safety and health seminars
for management executives, skill improvement courses for press machine
operation chief, and safety education for press machine operators.
All of these educational programs shall be conducted
on a systematic basis.
4 Carrying out voluntary safety activities
(1) Affiliated company groups
In affiliated company group which conduct
press machine operation such as general machinery and tool manufacturing,
automobile manufacturing and electric machinery and tool manufacturing,
voluntary safety management activities led by the parent company
shall be carried out by installing a safety consultative organization,
observing all related laws and regulations, and implementing safety
education for press machine operator in affiliated company.
(2) Small and medium-sized workplace
Small and medium-sized workplace shall examine
the possibility of utilizing the industrial safety and health
loan system, the small and medium-sized safety and health activity
promotion subsidy system for company group, etc., and positively
introducing technologies concerning safety from the outside.
(3) Press machine accident prevention conferences,
Small and medium-sized workplace in particular
shall be encouraged to participate in press machine accident prevention
conference, etc., conducted by accident prevention organizations,
press-related industry association, etc., and voluntary safety
management activities by member workplace shall be activated by
preparing press machine accident and improvement case files, preparing
model work standards and safety inspection manuals, and implementing
voluntary safety patrols. Efforts shall be made to spread these
activities not only to workplace represented in such conference,
but also to other local workplace that conduct related operation.