ProGMA Launches Educational Video Series About Protective Guarding

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA), a product group within trade association MHI, has launched the first in a series of educational videos about the importance of protective guarding products in the material handling industry. The short but informative video is titled, “Essential Safety Barriers for Automated / Robotic Workcells”.
ProGMA has 19 member companies that are the industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities. The group promotes the benefits, advantages, and use of protective barrier and guarding equipment in the workplace. It is also an advocate for general safety and health of people who work with or in the vicinity of mechanical equipment and material storage.
Eddie Murphy, a representative of ProGMA and president of member company Spaceguard Products Inc., said: “We are also a provider and promoter of education about member companies’ safety solutions, and it was with that mission in mind that the series of videos was conceptualized.” This first ProGMA video is primarily targeting safety and facilities managers throughout the supply chain who might overlook, or otherwise be unsure of, the requirements around the specific storage space or material handling equipment in their facility.
“However, secondary to that, we hope the videos will also have a role to play in academia, as engineering and other students look to reinforce their learning and understanding about the bigger safety picture, and where protective guarding should be considered for use in the workplace,” added Murphy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 50,000 injuries in the U.S. annually due to personnel being struck by objects (parts, materials, and machinery). It is a sad reality that amputation is a common occurrence following injury associated with this type of accident. Not only is that a life-altering situation but also it is the most expensive worker’s compensation claim, averaging $73,000 per instance. 
Safer by design
Serving as a vehicle for ProGMA’s newly conceived ‘Safer by Design’ tagline, there will be eight videos in the series, one for each area covered by a previous ProGMA presentation titled, “Protect Your People…AND Your Wallet: Safety Guarding Solutions for the Industrial Facility”, which was delivered to audiences at MHI-sponsored trade shows MODEX 2014 and 2016 either side of its alternating fair, ProMat 2015.
David Brentz, chairman of ProGMA and vice president of member company Industrial Netting, said: “Each video is designed to illustrate the technologies and solutions offered by one or more ProGMA member company. As we put the concept into the marketplace, trade media and target audiences should expect to hear various commentators and thought leaders that specialize in each of these product areas.”
Murphy continued: “The goal was to keep each video between 60 and 90 seconds to keep the viewer engaged, but still provide ample content in that time. Research shows that video is an increasingly popular way of consuming content online, yet it’s also the case that material handling professionals are very busy and need quality information in a digestible format.”
ProGMA employed the services of Suite Imagery LLC, of Wisconsin, to produce the videos, having initiated the project in 2016 before finalizing scripts and animations in February this year. Each video gives a brief overview of the inherent danger associated with a particular application. In “Essential Safety Barriers for Automated / Robotic Workcells,” for example, the voiceover says, “…potential hazards from a machine or accidental contact with moving equipment must be eliminated or controlled.” It goes on to explore the safety benefits of wire mesh partitions, welding curtains, and light curtains.
Murphy concluded: “It is extremely important to have guarding designed for the facility and application. The standards give guidelines, but oftentimes there are additional considerations specific to the facility or application that need to be considered. For example, MH 28.3 calls out railing and kick plates required on an elevated work platform, but if there are additional concerns such as potential projectiles or smaller falling objects, then the application may require additional guarding along the railing to eliminate those hazards.”
The video can be viewed here:
About ProGMA
The Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA) members are the industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities. Member companies meet regularly to review, discuss, and revise the standards for design and performance of protective guarding products used in the material handling industry. ProGMA member companies are committed to the development, maintenance, and publishing of industry standard specifications for these systems. Visit the website at
About MHI
MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945. MHI members include material handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers and third-party logistics providers. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for their members, their customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. The association sponsors the ProMat and MODEX expos to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate manufacturing and supply chain professionals.
Anupam Berry Bose