Five reasons you should attend our Free Safety Talks

Reason #1 — Free Safety Talks

You can’t argue with Free Stuff! Last week we part­nered with Schm­er­sal Cana­da and Franklin Empire to put on three days of Free Safe­ty Talks. We had full hous­es in all three loca­tions, Wind­sor, Lon­don and Cam­bridge, with near­ly 60 peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing.

We had two great pre­sen­ters who helped peo­ple under­stand Pre-Start Health and Safe­ty Reviews (PSRs) [1], CSA Z432-2016 [2], Inter­lock­ing Devices [3] and Fault Mask­ing [4].

Mr Vashi at Franklin Empire Cambridge
Mr Vashi at Franklin Empire Cam­bridge

Franklin Empire pro­vid­ed us with some great facil­i­ties and break­fast to keep our minds work­ing. Thanks, Franklin Empire and Ben Reid who orga­nized all of the reg­is­tra­tions!

Mr Nix discussing injury rates in machine modes of operation
Mr Nix dis­cussing injury rates in machine modes of oper­a­tion

Reason #2 — Understanding Interlocking Devices

A portrait of Mr Kartik Vashi
Mr Kar­tik Vashi, CFSE

Mr Kar­tik Vashi, CFSE, dis­cussed the ISO Inter­lock­ing Device stan­dard, ISO 14119. This stan­dard pro­vides read­ers with guid­ance in the selec­tion and appli­ca­tion of inter­lock­ing devices, includ­ing the four types of inter­lock­ing devices and the var­i­ous cod­ing options for each type. Did you know that ISO 14119 is also direct­ly ref­er­enced in CSA Z432-16 [2]? That means this stan­dard is applic­a­ble to machin­ery built and used in Cana­da as of 2016. If you don’t know what I’m talk­ing about, you can con­tact Mr Vashi to get more infor­ma­tion.

ISO 14119 Fig 2 showing some aspects of different types of interlocking devices.
ISO 14119 Fig 2 show­ing some aspects of dif­fer­ent types of inter­lock­ing devices [3]

Reason #3 — Understanding Fault Masking

Mr Vashi also talked about fault mask­ing, an impor­tant and often mis­un­der­stood sit­u­a­tion that can occur when inter­lock­ing devices or oth­er electro­mechan­i­cal devices, like emer­gency stop but­tons, are daisy-chained into a sin­gle safe­ty relay or safe­ty input on a safe­ty PLC. Mr Vashi drew from ISO/TR 24119 to help explain this phe­nom­e­non. If you don’t under­stand the impact that daisy-chain­ing inter­lock­ing devices can have on the reli­a­bil­i­ty of your inter­lock­ing sys­tems, Mr Vashi can help you get a han­dle on this top­ic.

A part of ISO 24119 Fig 2 showing one method of daisy-chaining interlocking devices.
A part of ISO 24119 Fig 2 show­ing one com­mon method of daisy-chain­ing inter­lock­ing devices [4]

Reason # 4 — Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews

Portrait of Doug Nix, C.E.T.
Mr Doug Nix, C.E.T.

Mr Nix opened his pre­sen­ta­tion with a dis­cus­sion of some com­mon­ly asked ques­tions about Pre-Start Health and Safe­ty Reviews (PSRs). There are many ways that peo­ple become con­fused about the WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHO and HOW of PSRs, and Mr Nix cov­ered them all. This unique-to-Ontario process requires an employ­er to have machines, equip­ment, rack­ing and process­es reviewed by a Pro­fes­sion­al Engi­neer or anoth­er Qual­i­fied Per­son when cer­tain cir­cum­stances exist (see O. Reg. 851, Sec­tion 7 Table). If you are con­fused by the PSR require­ments, con­tact Mr Nix for help with your ques­tions.

Reason #5 — Understanding the changes to CSA Z432

CSA Z432 [2] was updat­ed in 2016 with many changes. This much-need­ed update came after 12 years expe­ri­ence with the 2004 edi­tion and many changes in machin­ery safe­ty tech­nol­o­gy. Mr Nix briefly explored the many changes that were brought to Cana­di­an machine builders in the new edi­tion, includ­ing the many new ref­er­ences to ISO and IEC stan­dards. These new ref­er­ences will help Euro­pean machine builders get their prod­ucts accept­ed in Cana­di­an mar­kets. Both Mr Vashi and Mr Nix sit on the CSA Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee respon­si­ble for CSA Z432.

Reason #6 — Hot Questions

We like to over-deliv­er, so here’s the bonus rea­son!

We had some great ques­tions posed by our atten­dees, two of which we are answer­ing in video posts this week. If you have ever con­sid­ered using a pro­gram­ma­ble safe­ty sys­tem for lock­out, our first video explains why this is not yet a pos­si­bil­i­ty. Mr Nix gets into some of the reli­a­bil­i­ty con­sid­er­a­tions behind the O.Reg. 851 Sec­tions 75 and 76 and CSA Z460 require­ments.

Mr Nix post­ed a sec­ond video dis­cussing ISO 13849–1 [5] Cat­e­go­ry 2 archi­tec­ture require­ments and par­tic­u­lar­ly Test­ing Inter­vals. This video explains why it is not pos­si­ble to meet the test­ing require­ments using a pure­ly electro­mechan­i­cal design solu­tion.

Edit: 16-May-18

A case in the UK illus­trates the dan­gers of bypass­ing inter­lock­ing sys­tems. A work­er was killed by a con­vey­or sys­tem in a pre-cast con­crete plant when he was work­ing in an area nor­mal­ly pro­tect­ed by a key-exchange sys­tem. Here’s the link to the arti­cle on Allow­ing work­ers into the dan­ger zone of a machine with­out oth­er effec­tive risk reduc­tion mea­sures may be a death sen­tence.


[1]     Ontario Reg­u­la­tion 851, Indus­tri­al Estab­lish­ments

[2]     Safe­guard­ing of Machin­ery. CSA Z432. 2016.

[3]     Safe­ty of machin­ery — Inter­lock­ing devices asso­ci­at­ed with guards — Prin­ci­ples for design and selec­tion. ISO 14119. 2013.

[4]     Safe­ty of machin­ery — Eval­u­a­tion of fault mask­ing ser­i­al con­nec­tion of inter­lock­ing devices asso­ci­at­ed with guards with poten­tial free con­tacts. ISO/TR 24119. 2015.

[5]     Con­trol of haz­ardous ener­gy — Lock­out and oth­er meth­ods. CSA Z460. 2013.

[6]     Safe­ty of machin­ery — Safe­ty-relat­ed parts of con­trol sys­tems — Part 1: Gen­er­al prin­ci­ples for design. ISO 13849–1. 2015.

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Acknowl­edge­ments: Kar­tik Vashi, ISO, Franklin Empire, S more…
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Free Safety Talks — May 2018

People in a training class, listening to an instructor

Free Machinery Safety Talks

This May we are once again part­ner­ing with Schm­er­sal Cana­da and Franklin Empire to pro­vide free safe­ty talks in South­ern Ontario.  If you are respon­si­ble for the safe­ty of work­ers using machin­ery in Ontario, Cana­da, ensur­ing their safe­ty is a key pri­or­i­ty for you every day. Under­stand­ing your respon­si­bil­i­ties is vital to main­tain­ing and improv­ing your work­ers’ safe­ty.

Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews and Interlocking Devices

We will be cov­er­ing Pre-Start Health and Safe­ty Reviews and Inter­lock­ing Devices under ISO 14119. Our experts will there and ready to answer your ques­tions at these free safe­ty talks. Addi­tion­al details are pro­vid­ed through the links below.

Dates and Locations

Take advan­tage of the three oppor­tu­ni­ties com­ing up in May. If you are inter­est­ed in attend­ing one of these half-day events, we will be run­ning them in:

Reg­is­tra­tion is lim­it­ed, so act quick­ly if you want to go! Break­fast starts at 7 a.m., with the Free Safe­ty Talks start­ing at 8:00 sharp.

Hope to see you there!

The History behind April 28th, Canada’s National Day of Mourning

One of the original April 28th National Day of Mourning posters showing a canary singing in a cage, reminding us of the canaries used in the past in coal mines to detect hazardous gases.
Nation­al Day of Mourn­ing Poster

This post was writ­ten by Dorothy Wig­more, Occu­pa­tion­al health and green chem­istry spe­cial­ist, from Win­nipeg, Man­i­to­ba, and a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Pub­lic Health Asso­ci­a­tion (APHA)The arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in the Spring 2010 Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safe­ty Sec­tion Newslet­ter [1], and sub­se­quent­ly post­ed on the APHA web­site.

This arti­cle was pre­vi­ous­ly incor­rect­ly attrib­uted. Our sin­cere apolo­gies to Ms. Wig­more for this error. Our deep appre­ci­a­tion goes to her for per­mis­sion to reprint this arti­cle. Con­tact the author.

April 28 has many names. In Cana­da, it’s the Day of Mourn­ing. In the Unit­ed States and the Unit­ed King­dom, it’s Work­ers’ Memo­r­i­al Day. The Inter­na­tion­al Labour Orga­ni­za­tion calls it the World Day for Safe­ty and Health at Work. Marked around the world, there’s con­fu­sion about its ori­gins, even in Cana­da.

Around 1983, the health and safe­ty direc­tor of the Cana­di­an Union of Pub­lic Employ­ees (CUPE), Col­in Lam­bert, and his long-time friend and fel­low activist, Ray Sentes, came up with the idea of a day to rec­og­nize work­ers killed and injured on the job.

As a steel­work­er and min­er in Sud­bury, Ontario, Lam­bert was instru­men­tal in hav­ing manda­to­ry coro­ners’ inquests for all min­ers’ deaths in Ontario. He also lament­ed the con­trast between the lack of recog­ni­tion for min­ers and oth­er work­ers who died because of their work and the large pub­lic events for “fall­en” police offi­cers and fire­fight­ers.

Lam­bert “float­ed the idea” with CUPE’s nation­al health and safe­ty com­mit­tee, talk­ing about a spe­cial day of recog­ni­tion for work­ers killed and injured on the job, to be held on May 1 (cel­e­brat­ed as May Day in Europe and else­where). The com­mit­tee endorsed the idea. At its 1984 con­ven­tion, union del­e­gates sup­port­ed the pro­pos­al. Soon after, some CUPE locals start­ed nego­ti­at­ing events, such as low­ered flags and moments of silence.

In 1984 and 1985, CUPE rep­re­sen­ta­tives took the idea to the Cana­di­an Labour Con­gress (CLC) exec­u­tive and its nation­al health and safe­ty com­mit­tee. Local unions also sent res­o­lu­tions to the CLC.

In Feb­ru­ary 1986, the CLC announced the first Day of Mourn­ing, coin­cid­ing with the first day of its con­ven­tion that year. Rather than May 1, they chose the date when the Ontario leg­is­la­ture passed the country’s first work­ers com­pen­sa­tion law, in 1914. The con­ven­tion passed a res­o­lu­tion sup­port­ing April 28 as a day to “mourn for the dead and fight for the liv­ing.”

In 1990, Lam­bert and CUPE pushed for inno­v­a­tive ways to recog­nise the day. April 28 could be a “year-round series of pub­lic events”, not just a Day of Mourn­ing. We can attract “broad pub­lic recog­ni­tion for the day by adopt­ing a uni­ver­sal, unthreat­en­ing sym­bol of work­er safe­ty, the canary.”

The canary’s an appro­pri­ate sym­bol,” Lam­bert said. “It shows that today work­ers are the canaries — they are front-line pro­tec­tion for all of us.” The canary also showed up in the CLC’s new poster for April 28.

Lam­bert and oth­ers saw the poten­tial for a day of “pre­ven­tive action for work­ers which will be rec­og­nized by soci­ety in gen­er­al.” They called on CUPE locals to have activ­i­ties in the week head­ing up to the 28th. They sent a pack­age with a new poster — intro­duc­ing the canary sym­bol — and a spe­cial issue of the health and safe­ty newslet­ter. There also was a work­place inspec­tion check­list and calls for locals to cam­paign for gov­ern­ment recog­ni­tion of the day, and to bar­gain or ask employ­ers for a moment’s silence at 11 a.m. on April 28.

CUPE mem­bers and oth­ers respond­ed with enthu­si­asm. The British Colum­bia CUPE health and safe­ty com­mit­tee had a “Spot the Haz­ard” cam­paign for work­place inspec­tions. In Win­nipeg, Man­i­to­ba, the Fed­er­a­tion of Labour and CUPE pro­duced tags with the canary sym­bol and “Day of Mourn­ing, April 28”. They sold them with mem­bers of the local pro­fes­sion­al foot­ball team and the Boys and Girls Club, with pro­ceeds to the Club. In Wind­sor, Ontario, more than 300 peo­ple marched to the Min­istry of Labour to lay a wreath and release black bal­loons inscribed with “We came here to work, not to die”.

The cam­paign for gov­ern­ment recog­ni­tion paid off. In Feb­ru­ary 1991, the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment passed a pri­vate member’s bill, nam­ing April 28 as the “Day of Mourn­ing for Per­sons Killed or Injured in the Work­place.” Provin­cial and munic­i­pal gov­ern­ments also rec­og­nize the day.

These efforts and many oth­ers inspired trade unions and health and safe­ty activists and around the world. Mon­u­ments and plaques are some of the most com­mon respons­es. There were so many by 2001 that Ed Thomas of Hamil­ton wrote a book about them [2]. The Cana­di­an Cen­tre for Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safe­ty (CCOHS) put some of his pic­tures on a web page [3].

The cam­paign for recog­ni­tion of the day has been suc­cess­ful. Now, what about the goals behind it?


[1]     D. Wig­more. “The His­to­ry Behind April 28th”.  Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safe­ty Sec­tion Newslet­ter, Spring 2010. Amer­i­can Pub­lic Health Asso­ci­a­tion (APHA).

[2]     E. Thomas, Dead But Not For­got­ten: Mon­u­ments to Work­ers. Ed Thomas, 2001.

[3], “Nation­al Day of Mourn­ing – April 28″, 2015. [Online]. Avail­able: [Accessed: 05- Jan- 2016].

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Acknowl­edge­ments: D. Wig­more, APHA, 2010.
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