Machinery Safety 101

Do-It-Yourself Safety Labels, Signs and Tags

Safety label on a roller conveyor
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Hier­archy of Con­trols

One of the great chal­lenges that all product design­ers face is the sourcing of appro­pri­ate product safety labels. There are many sources for off-the-shelf labels includ­ing some of the biggest names in mark­ing and labelling, but until now, none have offered a way for product man­u­fac­tur­ers to devel­op stand­ards-com­pli­ant haz­ard warn­ing signs and labels them­selves. If…

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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…

The Third Level of the Hierarchy: Information for Use

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Hier­archy of Con­trols

I’ve writ­ten about the Hier­archy of Con­trols in past posts, but I’ve focused on the ‘engin­eer­ing’ side of the con­trol equa­tion: Phys­ic­al changes to machine design to elim­in­ate haz­ards, and mech­an­ic­al or elec­tric­al con­trol sys­tems that can reduce risk. The first two levels of the Hier­archy, Elimination/Substitution and Engin­eer­ing Con­trols, are typ­ic­ally more chal­len­ging to…

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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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Force and injury — How hard is too hard? ISO 21260 will help

ISO/TS 15066 body model
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Hier­archy of Con­trols

Force rep­res­ents the mech­an­ic­al energy that causes injury to the human body. ISO/TC 199 has been work­ing on answer­ing that ques­tion since 2012.

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