Thursday, March 08, 2018

State of Equipment in Manitoba

      Are you confident in the state of safeguarding on your equipment? If faced with an inspection from the province or an investigation after an injury, would you stand behind the level of safety controls on each of your machines? We often hear people tell us that their machines are all safe and properly guarded. However, the reality is that the majority of machines that we see are lacking proper guarding and leaving workers at risk for injury.

      We can categorize equipment into four states of machine safety compliance. Read below to learn the four states and see if you can identify where your equipment belongs.

  1. Missing guards – These machines have no guarding or are missing guards around key hazards.
  2. Guards are inadequate for the risk level – It is important that guarding is selected through the risk assessment process. When this step is missed, it is common to see guards that do not sufficiently protect workers. An example of this is using an awareness chain or guard rail to restrict access to a machine instead of using a perimeter fence.
  3. Guards are not designed to meet CSA requirements – Sometimes, the appropriate type of guard is chosen, but the design is lacking which leaves the worker exposed to hazards. Therefore, you may have fixed guards that are not properly secured in place or light curtains that are installed too close to the hazard.
  4. Machines are properly guarded This state is most likely achieved when a risk assessment has been performed, guarding methods are chosen by starting at the top of the hierarchy of controls and guards are designed using CSA Z432 specifications. 

Do you have a good understanding of where your machines fall in this list? WESguard is a web application which makes the process of identifying and categorizing your equipment easy and affordable. With a built-in inventory tracker, simple machine-specific safety audit and an easy-to-use risk assessment tool, ensuring your workers are safe has never been easier.

For more information visit and jump start your machine safety program today.

State of Equipment in Manitoba

*These are not verified statistics, only a representation of what we generally see on a daily basis

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 8:56 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Machine Safeguarding Lifecycle - Where Are You?


As engineers we like to make a complicated topic as simple as possible for our customers by outlining an easy-to-understand, step-by-step process. This is what we have done with machine safeguarding and have seen major success for our customers when this process is followed. We enjoy doing presentations to educate the industry on how to take control of safeguarding in your facility and love seeing success stories as companies adopt these beliefs into their own culture. The following is a summary of the entire process, from start to finish.


1.       Critical Machine Inventory: This is your starting point. Do you understand the full scope of equipment in your facility? What level of guarding do you have on each one? Where are your largest risks? Where do you even begin? These are some of the questions you may ask if you are just beginning on your safeguarding journey. It is important to document what you currently have and develop a plan of action. You can’t do everything at once, create a plan that works for your timeframe and budget.


Now, apply the following steps to each machine:


2.       Safeguarding Assessment: Don’t jump to conclusions on the type of guarding your machine requires. Take the time to understand all of the risks on the machine and how your operators and maintenance personnel interact with it. Without understanding these pieces, you may end up spending a lot of money on a guarding solution that does not work or actually creates more hazards than what you started with. Perform a risk assessment with a multi-functional group and choose safeguarding controls that effectively reduce the risks as well as work well with your production requirements. And make sure they meet CSA Z432 requirements!


3.       Scope of Work: From the results of your assessment, develop a scope of work that details out all the guarding and controls that you want to add to your machine. Use this to ensure that contractors fully understand your requirements and that you are receiving apples-to-apples quotes that you can compare fairly.


4.       Integration: Install the safeguards on your equipment. Whether you do this yourself or hire a contractor, ensure that you involve operators, maintenance, safety and management so that everyone has a say to ensure it is done correctly. Take the time to train everyone on the new safety procedures and document them in an easy-to-understand safe work procedure and machine specific lockout procedure.


5.       Verify: Review the assessment and compare it to the integration to ensure you are satisfied that the risks have been mitigated. Review this on a regular basis as production requirements and legislation can change.


6.       NEXT! Update your safeguarding plan and critical machine inventory anytime you improve the guarding on a machine. Pick your next priority and start the process over again. Celebrate that you have made another machine safer for your employees!


This may seem like a daunting process, especially if you are only at step 1, but we strongly recommend that you take the time with each machine to ensure you do it right the first time. And take comfort in knowing that you are not alone, we see companies all across the prairies at different stages of this cycle. And we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions. Good Luck!

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 3:31 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CSAM: The Safety Conference - February 5 & 6, 2013



CSAM ConferenceCSAM hosted another successful safety conference this year, it was a sell-out with 2175 participants. Over 100 tradeshow booths, over 20 courses, Big Daddy Tazz and great food and facilities from the Winnipeg Convention Centre all made for a very exciting couple of days. It was a great chance for us to learn new things, source new products, network and experience the thriving safety culture in Manitoba.

We took a course on "Understanding Workplace Safety & Health Enforcement" to gain more knowledge of the Manitoba system in order to better help our CSAM Bookletclients work through their improvement orders. It was a very educational course which touched on why SHO come to visit, the types of reports they can issue, how to properly respond and react, and a list of some inspection items that they generally look for during a visit.  It was interesting to note that the first item they mentioned was Safe Work Procedures. While administrative controls are lower on the hierarchy of controls, they are a crucial complement to your safeguarding plan and we always encourage our clients to ensure they have detailed and current procedures posted at their machines. A few other items on their list were documented inspections, housekeeping, your safety and health committee, PPE, fall protection, confined space, machine safeguarding, cranes & hoists, air quality and noise levels.

Thank you to Jennifer and Scott from Workplace Safety & Health for a very informative lecture.


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 12:00 AM 1 Comments
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