Understanding safety functions: Safe speed and safe standstill

A red sign with white block letters reading "reduce speed."

In this post, I’ll discuss two safety-related parameters: safe speed and safe standstill. Speed control is a very common machine function. Conveyors, mixers, pumps, and many other applications rely on variable-speed drives. Some speed parameters are also safety-related because variations in speed can increase the risk to workers. See this post for more information on…

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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]. Twenty-six 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, 245 people died from a work-related injury or illness in Ontario [1]. Workplace deaths have broad and deep effects on workers’ families, employers, and society. Workplace fatalities…

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CSA Z432 Public Review Open!

CSA Z432 Public Review is open. 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 start of the public review period…

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Ontario OHSA turns 43

Headline, the Toronto Telegram, March 18, 1960. "It was a Hell-Hole."

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) turns 43 today. For many workers, this important legislation came into force long before they were born, but some workers will remember the days before this important Act came into force. The Act came into force in 1979, but Ontario had a long history of labour-safety-related workplace…

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