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This paper presents the findings of qualitative research which examined how manufacturers addressed safety matters in the course of designing and constructing machinery, and the factors shaping their responses. This topic was investigated in 66 Australian firms that supplied machinery into local and international markets. Based on in-depth interviews, observation of machinery and review of documentation, firm performance was evaluated for three substantive safety outcomes – hazard recognition (types and instances), risk control measures (type and quality) and provision of safety information (scope and quality). The paper discusses differences in firm performance for these outcomes and concludes that there is a need for greater and more effective attention to safety in machinery design and construction, in order to advance the goal of preventing death, injury and illness arising from machinery.
Bluff, E. Safety in machinery design and construction: Performance for substantive safety outcomes. Safety Science 2014, 66: 27-35.