Monday, April 01, 2019

Machine Specific Lockout Procedures

Machine Specific Lockout Procedures exist because every piece of equipment is different.  Operators, Maintenance and other workers that interact with the equipment need to know step by step how to safely isolate energy and prevent machine incidents.

The procedures should include a diagram showing the location of each lockout point and pictures of how to lockout each energy source. Operators should be trained on the specific lockout procedures for their own equipment and the procedures should be posted at the machine for quick and easy reference.

The general steps in a lock out procedure should include:

1.       Proper shut down of the equipment,

2.       Isolate the energy sources,

3.       Apply a lock to all energy sources,

4.       Relieve any stored energy from the equipment, and

5.      Verify that the lock out is effective. 

Machine specific lock out procedures are beneficial for a number of reasons:

1.       Provide visual instruction which is beneficial for all employees but especially for those of whom English is not their first language.

2.       Clearly indicate where all lock out points are located.

3.       Describe how to properly verify that the energy is isolated.

4.       Ensure that ALL lock out points are addressed. Some machines have multiple energy sources that could be easily missed.

Contact us with any questions about Machine Specific Lockout.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Risk Reduction Case Study: Monarch Industries

Check out our risk reduction case study with Monarch Industries in the March edition of Prairie Manufacturer Magazine!

Go to article.

machine risk assessment with online app

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Are You at Risk for a Machine-Related Incident?

Many workplaces wrongly believe that they do not have any issues with machine safety. These are the organizations that are surprised and ill-prepared when an incident occurs, or they are issued an improvement order from Workplace Safety and Health. Some workplaces know that they have high risks but believe that machine safety programs are too time-consuming and costly to manage.

      Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to determine if your workplace is at risk for a machinery-related incident.

  1. Do you rely heavily on awareness controls and training to keep your workers safe around equipment?
  2. Do you believe that if you purchase a new machine it will come with all the required safeguards?
  3. Do have workers who work on equipment that do not understand energy control (lockout)?
  4. Do you have machines that do not have task-based risk assessments?
  5. If there was a problem with a guard, would an operator or supervisor remove it and continue working without proper consultation?

      If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you are at a much higher chance of experiencing a machine-related injury at your workplace. The good news is, machine safety programs do not have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here are a few simple things you can do to get started today.

  1. Have an inventory of the equipment in your workplace.
  2. Identify your highest risk machines based on severity and probability of injury.
  3. Determine proper safeguarding controls through the development of a task-based risk assessment.

If you would like some help or advice on any of these recommendations, contact us today at or visit

Monday, January 14, 2019

Risk Reduction Exercise

Here are some questions you can ask about risk, and here is what those answers can tell you.

1. What is the major hazard they will encounter in this task?

The first issue we encounter in risk assessments is that the operator may not even be aware of the hazards.  Being aware of the hazards is the first step in risk reduction because you can’t reduce risk from hazards when they are completely unknown.

2. What is the severity of injury if they come into contact with that hazard?

An operator may not even know the consequences of contacting the hazard with a body part.  They may think a bruise or abrasion when it could be a crush or amputation.  Not knowing the consequences causes operators to sometimes take unnecessary risks like removing a guard.

3. How easily do they think they can avoid that hazard?

Let’s find out if its just training and knowledge that keeps them from the hazard.  If they feel confident in this answer, ask them if a new or young worker with no knowledge of the first two questions could avoid that hazard.

This exercise will give you an idea of where you stand with risk.  You’ll know whether operators know the risks, what the consequences are, and what controls are in place.  If they can’t answer these questions, we need to get started on this process.

What can you do next?  Start with risk assessments.  Try a WESguard free trail

Monday, December 10, 2018

Safeguarding Trends from 2018

Here are the trends we saw in safeguarding for 2018.

Proactive versus Reactive:  We often tell people when we started this business all of our work was from improvement orders or incidents at facilities.  We are very proud to say that has swung to a more balanced number.  People are working on identifying hazards and risk before a near miss or worse an incident occurs.  Perhaps its people understanding that the cost of an incident is much more than the claim.

How can you be proactive?  Start with educating your workers on hazards and risks.

Improved Risk Assessments:  They are improving as more and more people get involved.  Having more people involved with risk assessments can often be viewed as a negative, as the time taken looks to be increaded.  But with a continued focus on doing good risk assessments and working the hierarchy of controls from the top, companies are seeing stronger and stronger solutions.

How can you improve your risk assessments? Make sure you look at all non-routine tasks for hazards and risks that don't happen everyday.

Strengthening of Machine Programs: With the Safe Work Certified program, people are realizing that having a strong program can be financially rewarding.  A structured program is easier to sustain and continuously improve.  With a baseline established that meets the regulatory requirements.

How can you strengthen your machine program?  Start with risk assessments for each major piece of equipment.

Looking forward to 2019!


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