Machinery Safety 101

Interlocking Devices: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Guards and Guard­ing

Note: A short­er ver­sion of this art­icle was pub­lished in the May-2012 edi­tion of  Man­u­fac­tur­ing Auto­ma­tion Magazine. When design­ing safe­guard­ing sys­tems for machines, one of the basic build­ing blocks is the mov­able guard. Mov­able guards can be doors, pan­els, gates or oth­er phys­ic­al bar­ri­ers that can be opened without using tools. Every one of these guards…

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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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Why I wear a Poppy on 11-Nov

In a recent art­icle in the Inde­pend­ent, Robert Fisk writes that the poppy has become noth­ing more than a fash­ion state­ment in the UK. Merely a way to show that you are Brit­ish, or to score points with the boss, or to make a polit­ic­al state­ment. He believes that wear­ing a poppy on 11-Nov mocks our war dead. He says…

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IRRST Injection Moulding Machine Safety Checklists

Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Plastic injec­tion mould­ing machines are one of the most dan­ger­ous machines in wide­spread use in industry. The Insti­tut de recher­ché Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécur­ité du trav­ail, is one of Canada’s lead­ing research cen­ters in occu­pa­tion­al health and safety. I would highly recom­mend the check­list to any­one deal­ing with these machines. Note that ANSI B151.1…

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The Problem with Probability

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

Risk Factors When risk is ana­lyzed, at least in the indus­tri­al sec­tor, we usu­ally fol­low a pro­cess defined in ISO 12100. This approach defines two broad para­met­ers, sever­ity and prob­ab­il­ity, and then fur­ther sub­divides prob­ab­il­ity into sub-para­­met­ers that are help­ful for ana­lyz­ing machinery haz­ards. This post explores the dif­fi­culty with assess­ing the prob­ab­il­ity para­met­er. If you’re inter­ested…

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Updates to Popular Articles

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Emer­gency Stop

We’ve recently updated a couple of our pop­u­lar art­icles! Check them out! Bust­ing Emer­gency Stop Myths Read­er Ques­tion: Mul­tiple E‑Stops and Resets

Reader Question: Multiple E‑Stops and Resets

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Emer­gency Stop

I had an inter­est­ing ques­tion come in from a read­er today that is rel­ev­ant to many situ­ations: “When you have mul­tiple E‑Stop but­tons I have often got­ten into an argu­ment that says you can have a reset beside each one. I was taught that you were required to have a single point of reset. Who is cor­rect?” — Michael Barb,…

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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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Understanding Risk Assessment

A group surrounding a computer discussing a problem.
This entry is part 10 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

When people dis­cuss ‘Risk’ there are a lot of dif­fer­ent assump­tions made about what that means. For me, the study of risk and risk assess­ment tech­niques star­ted in 1995. As a tech­no­lo­gist and con­trols design­er, I had to some­how wrap my head around the whole concept in ways I’d nev­er con­sidered. If you’re try­ing to fig­ure out risk…

New Seminar – Product Compliance in Europe – CE Marking Requirements

If you do busi­ness in the European Uni­on, you know that CE mark­ing products for sale in the EU and EEC coun­tries is required. These require­ments change as the legis­la­tion and stand­ards are updated, mak­ing the CE Mark­ing task a chal­len­ging one. Com­pli­ance InSight Con­sult­ing has partnered with Glob­al­Norm GmbH and the Cana­dian Ger­man Cham­ber of…

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