São Paulo—Inspectors from a new safety standard enforcement team forced an exhibitor to shut down a bag-making machine on the second day of the Feiplastic 2013 fair in São Paulo, saying the equipment, from an unnamed Chinese supplier, did not satisfy a revamped standard that Brazil is now more vigorously enforcing.
The Brazilian machinery association (ABIMAQ) has a working standards group known by the acronym ABET that is participating in a global revision of technical standards for plastics machinery, along with groups like the Italian plastics machinery association (Assocomaplast) and the Germany equivalent (VDMA).
Brazil has had the NR-12 standard since 1978, but it was largely enforced. Now new staff have been hired and starting in 2011, more rigorous enforcement began. This show marks the second time the group has inspected all the machinery at the Brazil show, with the first show-wide examination coming at the same event in 2011 (then called Brasilplast).
Going forward, plastics equipment shown at all Brazilian trade fairs will be subject to inspection and shut down if it doesn't satisfy the standard. For any equipment in which workers are exposed to potential harm, mechanical safety precautions like light curtains will be enforced.
Wilson Carnevalli, president of ABIMAQ's plastics machinery chamber noted, for example, that winding equipment for his film-extrusion lines includes light curtains, at a cost of $10,000/machine, to prevent worker injury, but many low-cost suppliers don't make the investment. "A safer machine is a more expensive machine," Carnevalli noted.