Today marks a fantastic milestone for the Machinery Safety 101 blog – 1,000,000 views! When I started writing this blog back in October 2008, I had high hopes that a few dozens, or perhaps as many as 1 000 people would find my articles interesting enough to spend some time reading. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think I’d ever see the kind of traffic we see every day, with typically 1 000 to 2 000 views.
Top Five Countries
Most of our readers come from the USA, which isn’t too surprising given the size of the country and the volume of machinery built there. About 77% of Canadian exports go to our NAFTA partners, the USA and Mexico . We’ve had over 92 380 visitors from the USA, showing the depth of the friendship and trade between the US and Canada.
The UK is our second largest reader group with more than 19 975 readers coming from that country, and Canada comes third with 15 438 readers. Rounding out the top five are China and India. China is a relatively recent addition to our community.
Completing the top ten countries by readership, we have Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Our Most Popular Articles
Our most popular post is still “Emergency Stop — What’s so confusing about that?” Since March 2009, this post has had more than 155 331 views! I’ve updated the post a couple of times to keep it current, but WOW, I am humbled by how many readers have found this article interesting.
One more article that many readers have found interesting is “Emergency Stop Categories,” first published in September 2010. More than 77 847 have read this article discussing the frequently misunderstood Stop Categories, which are often confused with control system architecture categories. If you’re not sure of the difference, this post is for you.
Another very popular article is “Understanding the Hierarchy of Controls,” published in February 2011. This post has had 46 637 readers so far. Things are changing in the way the Hierarchy of Controls is defined and used, and I’ll be updating that post in the coming months to reflect those changes.
When I first wrote about the emergency stop function in 2009, I thought that I might have enough material for one or two posts. Since then I’ve written 14 articles on various aspects of the emergency stop function, e-stop devices, and related circuit architectures. In the coming, months I’m planning to post on topics like
- the protective earth/ground terminal and how to correctly connect bonding conductors to this terminal to ensure a reliable and robust connection for both safety and EMC,
- openings in guards and the safety distance required behind the barrier where an opening exists,
- the development of safety-related software,
validation and verification of safety-related control systems, and
- fault-masking in interlocks and emergency stop circuits where multiple devices are daisy-chained.
RA101 – Risk Assessment 101
2017 saw us open our online training centre with the launch of Risk Assessment 101. This course has had great reviews from our students! If you need to learn how to do a risk assessment, this course is for you. The course includes 14 videos covering the various aspects of risk assessment, two working Excel risk assessment templates, and 34 PDFs containing tons of additional information on risk assessment. It’s a remarkable course. No other online trainer is offering anything like it, and if you’re not happy, we guarantee your money back.
FS101 – Functional Safety 101
Coming next is our Functional Safety 101 course, building on our risk assessment course. There are some companies offering courses to certify practitioners as “Machinery Safety Experts,” but most of these courses spend the bulk of the course on laws and regulations in Europe, and very little time on the “how-to” of functional safety. If you’ve ever sat down to try to read ISO 13849, you’ll know how confusing it can be. It’s not written for beginners, but for experienced control systems engineers. This course will take you through the entire process, from the link between risk and reliability, defining the safety functions, deciding on the necessary architecture and diagnostic capability, and finally the critical validation and verification steps needed to ensure that your design will keep users safe. Subscribers to our mailing list will get a sweetheart deal when we’re ready to launch, so if you’re not on our mailing list now is a great time to sign up!
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 Statistics Canada. “Table 12 – 10-0001 – 01 International merchandise trade by commodity (x 1,000,000)”, ww150.statcan.gc.ca, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1210000101. [Accessed: 12- Sep- 2018].