CETA in force!

CETA comes into force today, 21-Sep-2017

If you are unfa­mil­i­ar with CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, this ground­break­ing trade agree­ment between Canada and the European Union will be a game-​changer for Canada. Until today, the actu­al date for imple­ment­a­tion of the agree­ment has been a mov­ing tar­get. There were at least two pre­vi­ous dates announced by the Canadian gov­ern­ment, but each time the dates passed without the agree­ment com­ing into force due to issues that needed to be resolved.

So what does this mean for Canadians? As of today, 98% of Canadian products can now enter into the EU tariff-​free. Within two years, 99% of products will be tariff-​free. The agree­ment embod­ies much of what the EU sys­tem is based upon: Four pil­lars of free­dom are entrenched in the agreement.

The Four Pillars include the free­dom of move­ment of people, goods, ser­vices and cap­it­al. This philo­sophy has brought sig­ni­fic­ant prosper­ity and free­dom to European cit­izens. Within the“Schengen Area”, EU cit­izens can move freely across nation­al bor­ders without passing through cus­toms, in a very sim­il­ar way to Canadians mov­ing from Province to Province. EU cit­izens can work in any Schengen coun­try without the need for work­ing visas or cit­izen­ship in the new coun­try they have chosen. Similar freedoms exist for goods, ser­vices and money.

Under CETA, sim­il­ar freedoms are avail­able to Canadians, although with some restric­tions since CETA does not mean that Canada is now an EU Member State. Goods can flow from Canada to the EU, and from the EU to Canada without tar­iff restric­tions, except in some lim­ited cases. Businesses who want to set up oper­a­tions in the EU can do this with lim­ited restric­tions, and Canadian pro­fes­sion­al work­ers can move to the EU to staff these new oper­a­tions without the need for restrict­ive work visas. Investment in EU oper­a­tions has gained pro­tec­tions through EU law so that these invest­ments are bet­ter pro­tec­ted. Canadian ser­vice busi­nesses can now provide their ser­vice products to EU cus­tom­ers with little restric­tion. Canadian busi­ness now has free access to a mar­ket­place of 500 mil­lion new cus­tom­ers, nearly 14 times lar­ger than the Canadian mar­ket. The EU mar­ket is worth nearly €2.4 tril­lion in exports alone. This is an oppor­tun­ity Canadians can’t afford to miss.

With the instabil­ity being cre­ated by the cur­rent US admin­is­tra­tion and the bully tac­tics that are being used to force the rene­go­ti­ation of NAFTA, Canadian busi­ness should take the oppor­tun­ity presen­ted to us today to turn our eyes to the EU, a uni­on of coun­tries who are open and friendly to Canadians. People who want to work with us, who want our products and services.

21-​September-​2017 is a day to cel­eb­rate. The future looks bright!

Online Training Centre Opens

Online Training Centre Opens

You’ve been chal­lenged to start doing risk assess­ments on your machine designs, but you don’t know where to start. Perhaps you’ve bought a few stand­ards or a book or two, hop­ing to fig­ure it all out, but you nev­er seem to be able to stay focused long enough to get what you need from these materials.

You need train­ing. You start the hunt in the Google search box, but find­ing the right kind of train­ing is daunt­ing. How do you know what you need?

Search no longer! Compliance inSight Consulting opened it’s online Training Centre this month and is now tak­ing enrol­ments for the charter class in Machinery Risk Assessment!

Risk Assessment 101

Risk Assessment 101 is designed for machinery design­ers, tech­no­lo­gists and engin­eers who need to get a handle on the basics of risk assess­ment. The course includes 12 mod­ules, covering

  • the basics of risk
  • haz­ard iden­ti­fic­a­tion and analysis
  • like­li­hood of injury
  • risk con­trol measures
  • risk assess­ment workflow
  • doc­u­ment­a­tion
  • next steps

The course includes a live class each week, unit quizzes to help learners gauge their under­stand­ing, live office hours with the instruct­or each week, a Facebook dis­cus­sion group, and much more. Students suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing the course will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

The Charter Class is lim­ited to 15 stu­dents and is being offered at a spe­cial intro­duct­ory price. If you’re inter­ested, don’t waste any time, enroll right away to secure a seat.

Future Courses

Over the next few months, addi­tion­al courses will be added to the Training Centre on top­ics like CE Marking, Functional Safety, Machine Guarding, and much more. Some courses will be self-​directed, while oth­ers will have live classes as part of the program.

Our goal at CIC is to provide our cus­tom­ers with a con­veni­ent, afford­able way to get the train­ing they need when they need it. We hope to see you in class soon!

Emergency Stop Failures

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Emergency Stop

I am always look­ing for inter­est­ing examples of machinery safety prob­lems to share on MS101. Recently I was scrolling Reddit/​r/​OSHA and found these three real-​world examples.

Broken Emergency Stop Buttons

The first and most obvi­ous kinds of fail­ures are those res­ult­ing from either wear out or dam­age to emer­gency stop devices like e-​stop but­tons or pull cords. Here’s a great example:

Won’t be stop­ping this elev­at­or any­time soon. from OSHA

The oper­at­or device in this pic­ture has two problems:

1) the but­ton oper­at­or has failed and

2) the e-​stop is incor­rectly marked.

The cor­rect mark­ing would be a yel­low back­ground in place of the red/​silver legend plate, like the example below. The yel­low back­ground could have the words “emer­gency stop” on it, but this is not neces­sary as the col­our com­bin­a­tion is enough.

Yellow circular legend plate with the words "emergency stop" in black letters. Fits A-B 800T pushbutton operators.
Allen-​Bradley 800T Emergency Stop legend plate

There is an ISO/​IEC sym­bol for an emer­gency stop that could also be used [1].

Emergency stop symbol. A circle containing an equalateral triangle pointing downward, containing an exclamation mark.
Emergency Stop Symbol IEC 60417 – 5638 [1]
I won­der how the con­tact block(s) inside the enclos­ure are doing? Contact blocks have been known to fall off the back of emer­gency stop oper­at­or but­tons, leav­ing you with a but­ton that does noth­ing when pressed. Contact blocks secured with screws are most vul­ner­able to this kind of fail­ure. Losing a con­tact block like this hap­pens most often in high-​vibration con­di­tions. I have run across this in real life while doing inspec­tions on cli­ent sites.

There are con­tact blocks made to detect this kind of fail­ure, like Allen Bradley’s self-​monitoring con­tact block, 800TC-​XD4S, or the sim­il­ar Siemens product,3SB34. Most con­trols com­pon­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers will be likely to have sim­il­ar components.

Here’s anoth­er example from a machine inspec­tion I did a while ago. Note the wire “keep­er” that pre­vents the but­ton from get­ting lost!


Installation Failures

Here is an example of poor plan­ning when installing new bar­ri­er guards. The emer­gency stop but­ton is now out of reach. The ori­gin­al poster does not indic­ate a reas­on why the emer­gency stop for the machine he was oper­at­ing was moun­ted on a dif­fer­ent machine.

sure hope i nev­er need to hit that emer­gency stop but­ton. its for the machine on my side of the new fence. from OSHA

No Emergency Stop at all

Finally, and pos­sibly the worst example of all. Here is an impro­vised emer­gency stop using a set of wire cut­ters. No fur­ther com­ment required.

Emergency stop but­ton. from OSHA

If you have any examples you would like to share, feel free to add them in com­ments below. References to par­tic­u­lar employ­ers or man­u­fac­tur­ers will be deleted before posts are approved.

References

[1]     “IEC 60417 – 5638, Emergency Stop”, Iso​.org, 2017. [Online]. Available: https://​www​.iso​.org/​o​b​p​/​u​i​/​#​i​e​c​:​g​r​s​:​6​0​4​1​7​:​5​638. [Accessed: 27- Jun- 2017].