Machinery Safety 101

ISO Withdraws Machinery Risk Assessment Standards

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

ISO has with­drawn three long-stand­ing basic machinery safety stand­ards used inter­na­tion­ally and in the EU and replaced them with a single com­bined doc­u­ment. If you design, build or integ­rate machinery for sale inter­na­tion­ally or with­in the EU, this new stand­ard needs to be on your BUY list!

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How Risk Assessment Fails

Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear plant before the meltdown
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

The events unfold­ing at Japan’s Fukushi­ma Dai Ichi Nuc­le­ar Power plant are a case study in ways that the risk assess­ment pro­cess can fail or be abused. In an art­icle pub­lished…

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The purpose of risk assessment

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

I’m often asked what seems like a pretty simple ques­tion: “Why do we need to do a risk assess­ment?” There are a lot of good reas­ons to do risk assess­ments, but ulti­mately, the…

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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…

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What did TEPCO know about Fukushima before 11-Mar-11?

Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear plant before the meltdown
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

I recently had a col­league point out an inter­est­ing paper pub­lished in the “Bul­let­in of the Atom­ic Sci­ent­ists” about the level of know­ledge that exis­ted between the start of con­struc­tion of…

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How Risk Assessment Fails — Again. This time at DuPont.

Casualty Evacuated by EMS
This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

A recent report released by the US Chem­ic­al Safety Board (CSB) looks at a series of acci­dents that occurred over a 33-hour peri­od on Janu­ary 22 and 23, 2010 at the DuPont Corporation’s…

Scoring Severity of Injury – Hidden Probabilities

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Risk Assess­ment

I’ve been think­ing a lot about risk scor­ing tools and the algorithms that we use. One of the key ele­ments in risk is the Sever­ity of Injury. There are hid­den prob­ab­il­it­ies…

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The Probability Problem

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

In Occu­pa­tion­al Health and Safety (OHS), risk is a func­tion of the sever­ity of the injury and the prob­ab­il­ity of the injury occur­ring. Under­stand­ing the sever­ity por­tion is usu­ally fairly easy,…

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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…

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