Machinery Safety 101

Instructions for Use – the New ISO 20607

Instruc­tions are one of the basic items that users expect to get when they pur­chase a product, and yet these import­ant doc­u­ments are often poorly writ­ten, badly trans­lated, and incom­plete. Key product fea­tures are badly described, and inform­a­tion on fea­tures, set­tings and haz­ards may be absent. All of this des­pite the fact that the min­im­um require­ments…

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Problems with our websites

Apo­lo­gies Just a quick note to all our read­ers to explain the out­ages we’ve been hav­ing. First, I want to apo­lo­gise for the down­time and sporad­ic out­ages you’ve prob­ably exper­i­enced. We tried and failed to avoid those issues, but we think everything is sor­ted out now. Mov­ing house is nev­er easy We out­grew the cap­ab­il­it­ies of our…

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A Note about Our Travel Policy

We believe travel gives us a broad per­spect­ive both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. Our focus is glob­al. Our eth­ic­al pos­i­tion is clear; we believe in the health and safety of ALL people. We believe in the power of sci­entif­ic data, and in the power of con­nect­ing with oth­ers glob­ally, so we might learn from one anoth­er. Com­pli­ance…

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Get the Basics Right!

For more than 15 years I’ve been teach­ing people about risk assess­ment, machinery safety and CE Mark­ing of machinery in private, onsite classes and through present­a­tions at safety con­fer­ences. Things are about to change! This fall, Com­pli­ance InSight Con­sult­ing will begin offer­ing open-enrol­­ment work­shops in CE Mark­ing, Risk Assess­ment Func­tion­al Safety, and Machinery Safety, all with a focus…

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How to become Instantly Incompetent

Many engin­eers and design­ers fall into a really simple trap, one that makes them instantly incom­pet­ent. These are not stu­pid people. They have the qual­i­fic­a­tions, so what is it that can catch someone out this badly? It’s called ‘com­pla­cency’. Com­pla­cency is that state we all get into from time to time where we feel like we know what’s going…

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Hockey Teams and Risk Reduction or What Makes Roberto Luongo = PPE

Canucks Hockey Flag
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Hier­archy of Con­trols

Spe­cial Co-Author, Tom Doyle Last week we saw the Boston Bru­ins earn the Stan­ley Cup. I was root­ing for the green, blue and white, and the ruin of my voice on Thursday was ample evid­ence that no amount of cheer­ing helped. While I was watch­ing the game with friends and col­leagues, I real­ized that Roberto Luongo and Tim…

Fukushima Dai Ichi – Live

In a recent post on his For­bes blog, Edis­on 2.0, Osha Gray Dav­id­son con­nects read­ers to a live web­cam installed by TEPCO at the Fukushi­ma Dai Ichi nuc­le­ar plant. That web­cam has since been replaced by two cam­er­as, one look­ing at the site from the Unit 1 side and the oth­er from the Unit 4 side [Ed. Note: added…

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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 the…

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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 in…

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Understanding the Hierarchy of Controls

The Hierarchy of Controls illustrated as an inverted triangle with each level of the hierarchy written one above the other, starting with Inherently Sfe design, then Engineering Controls, then Information for Use, then Administrative Controls and finally descending to PPE at the bottom. An arrow with the text "Effectiveness" on it runs parallel to the triangle and points downward from Inherently safe design to PPE.
This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Hier­archy of Con­trols

(Eds. note: This art­icle was ori­gin­ally writ­ten in 2011 and was updated in Nov. 2018.) The “Hier­archy of Con­trols” is one approach to risk reduc­tion that has become entrenched in the Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safety (OHS) sec­tor. There are oth­er approaches to risk reduc­tion which are equally effect­ive but are less rigidly struc­tured. If you…

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