Worse than Worst?

  The increase to the incident level at the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear plant today by the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority has brought the continuing disaster at the crippled plant back into the headlines. IEEE Spectrum has published a series of articles recently written by Bill Sweet on the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear disaster. From…

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CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety Public Review

CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety is now available for public review on the CSA web site. This standard is the Canadian implementation of NFPA 70E and IEEE P1584, covering electrocution and arc-flash hazards in the workplace. Public Review Draft of Z462-12 Because of the importance of the Z462 Standard to the electrical sector, CSA…

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New contact block design for Emergency Stop devices from Siemens

One issue that frequently comes up when inspecting machinery is the contact blocks used on emergency stop devices. Until now, e-stop devices were normally fitted with the same contact blocks used on other operator devices. In cases where the e-stop system is a single channel, you could lose the contact block off the back of…

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Why you should stop using the term ‘Deadman’

The Deadman Control Do you use the phrase ‘deadman’ or ‘deadman switch’ when talking about safety-related controls on your machinery? I often run into this when I’m working with clients who use the terms to refer to ‘enabling devices’ – you know, those two or three-position switches that are found on robot teaching pendants and…

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Relative Radiation Doses – XKCD

Here’s a chart that shows the relative doses of radiation and the levels of external dose that is fatal. Thanks to XKCD for this great illustration!