The Industrial S-Word

The industrial S-Word is a new podcast covering industrial equipment safety hosted by Matt Ernst. Matt has many years of experience in the industrial automation sector from his early days in 2006 with WIKA Instruments Canada Ltd., to his current work with Schmersal Canada. Last week I had the great pleasure to be interviewed by…

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The Westray Mine Disaster

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Westray Mine disaster in 1992. At 5:18 am on Saturday, May 9, 1992, a great, blue flame flashed out of the mine opening, a cloud of black smoke on its tail [1]. 26 miners lost their lives when a methane and coal dust explosion destroyed the mine. Eleven…

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Canada’s National Day of Mourning

April 28th poster: Fight for the living, Mourn for the dead.

Fight for the Living, Mourn for the Dead On April 28th, Canada’s National Day of Mourning, we mourn for our workplace dead. According to the WSIB, in 2020, there were 245 people who died from a work-related injury or illness in Ontario [1]. Workplace deaths have broad and deep effects on the families of the…

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CSA Z432 Fourth Edition Open for Public Review!

CSA just opened public review on CSA Z432, Safeguarding of Machinery, fourth edition. If you are a user, a builder of machinery, or an evaluator of machinery, this is your opportunity to see the draft of this important standard and to make comments to help the Technical Committee improve the standard on your behalf. Note: The…

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Emergency Off (EMO) vs Emergency Stop

EMO Button, red with yellow surround. Credit: D. Nix

The concept of Emergency Off (EMO) used by the semiconductor manufacturing sector is similar in many ways to the emergency stop used in all other types of machinery, with some differences. This article covers the differences between these concepts. NOTE: This is a long post! TL;DR: EMO and emergency stop are very similar, however, there…

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