According to the Digital Observatory of Health and Occupational Safety,Brazil is in fourth place in the world when it comes to work accidents. There are about 700,000 of them a year, which is equivalent to one accident every 45 seconds during office hours. Alarming data such as these led the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) to create the Regulatory Standard NR:12, which aims to ensure the safety of equipment, both for the benefit of employees and employers.
This standard is one of the most important of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) and has been undergoing several updates over the years. The latter took place through Ordinance No. 916of the Ministry of Economy, which entered into force in July 2019. For this reason, it is essential that organizations know the guideline, which covers the entire life cycle of machines, optimizing safety and minimizing losses.
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What is NR:12?
NR:12 is the acronym for Regulatory Standard Number 12 that, as we mention, aims to ensure basic safety standards for the work environment of employees who work in the assembly and operation of equipment of various natures, such as industrial and agricultural.
According to what is contained in an excerpt of the standard itself, which is even one of the most extensive of the CLT, it and its annexes: “define technical references, fundamental principles and protective measures to ensure the health and physical integrity of workers and establishes minimum requirements for the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases in the design and use phases of machinery and equipment of all types, as well as their manufacture, import, marketing, exposure and assignment to any
Why should your company fit in?
First, it is essential that organisations take part in NR:12 because of the problems that accidents at work can cause to both the employee and the employer. The following are the main reasons for prioritizing compliance with the standard:
A simple oversight related to the maintenance of equipment is capable of causing serious damage to individuals, who may be left with limitations. Families are also affected, after all, often depend on these people for survival.
Not to mention that fatal accidents are capable of causing irreparable emotional problems, as well as severely compromising the lives of family members in addition to negatively weighing on the company’s image.
The financial aspect reaches all involved. For starters, the employee often maintains family income and becomes unable to continue working if he suffers an accident.
The entrepreneur, in turn, needs to pay compensation, lawsuits, among others. Not to mention the reputation in the market and in society, which can harm the operation and continuity of the company.
Another relevant point is the Brazilian economy as a whole, since it is directly impacted by costs related to removals and with productions harmed or interrupted.
Judicial and bureaucratic factor
Complying with NR:12 is not only a matter of choice by organizations, but an obligation that, if not fulfilled, can generate fines, notifications, assessments and interdictions. In addition, there are numerous lawsuits in court that discuss compensation related to work accidents.
It is important to emphasize that, in addition to unexpected circumstances, there are incidents caused on purpose by workers, who aim to receive unduly compensation or other types of benefits. Strange as it may seem, NR:12 also aims to protect employers in this regard.
What should the suitability of regulatory standard NR: 12 be on the lookout for?
The need for adaptation to NR:12 involves all areas of an industry that operate equipment capable of causing accidents. The company’s planning should establish processes, responsibilities and training of equipment operators, as well as the work safety team, which includes contracted or outsourced employees.
The program to be developed should also describe all activities related to the application of machinery protections, inspections, team responsibilities, safe working practices, record maintenance and training requirements. To be clearer, check out some important points for suitability:
- equipment protections must have a physical barrier that makes it impossible for the operator to place any part of the body in the risk zones during their cycle;
- tamper-proof protections, so that they cannot be removed or tampered with by employees;
- equipment should be immediately removed on the ipending of any risks. To do this, employees must have access to devices that can be triggered emergencyly;
- the lubrication of the machines of preference should be done without the employees having to take away the proper protections;
- interfere not with the operation of the equipment under any circumstances.
There are several details to be observed by organizations that intend to act according to NR:12 and thus offer a safer environment to all teams.
How to suit NR: 12?
The first step of adequacy to NR:12 should be a preliminary analysis of the inventory of equipment and its risks, in order to consider the most common scenarios and implement concepts such as “safe failure”, which consists in minimizing or eliminating the risk even in cases of malfunction. That is, the machine can enter a safe mode that provides protection to workers in the event of performance failures.
Other important aspects are administrative aspects, which include policies, procedures and work safety instructions, in addition to the provision of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PIs) for each type of activity.
The standard can be implemented for new equipment projects or on systems already in the organization. For this, it is possible to count on the help of specialized companies, which provide guidance and assist in the development of important procedures for the adequacy to NR:12.
Did you know that Nalbatech works with the best automation solutions that allow your company to tailor to NR:12? If you want to meet. If you want to know them, please contact us and schedule a meeting. We will be delighted to serve you!