Monday, July 09, 2018

Best Machine Safety Tips


Task Based Risk Assessments: If you use tasks or activities to track your risk assessment, you can make sure all employees touching that equipment have been spoken too and all hazards they are exposed to have been recorded.

Risk Assessments Review:  Risk assessments can easily become out of date as processes and products change.  Set a frequency to review your risk assessments.  Instead of a blanket time period, suggest setting the frequency by a trigger (new employee, new product or new process) or by time periods depending on risk (high risk – yearly, medium risk – every 2 years, low risk – every 5 years)

Safe Work Procedures:  These are a requirements under legislation, but look to see if you have existing operating procedures, and they could be updated to have all the requirements of the safe work procedure.

Machine Specific Lockout:  You may have a plant policy for Lockout, but complicated equipment might need more detail.  Have a specific procedure for each machine.  Outline the energy sources, the procedures and the verification procedure.  Use lots of pictures.

Training on Hazard Identification:  For risk assessments to be effective, you need contribution from your workforce.  Train them on all the types of hazards (Electrical, Mechanical) they may encounter and examples of them (Entanglement, Crush, Pinch, Struck by)

Training Plans:  Have a plan for each employee that includes the above items.  The onboarding process could be a checklist of each item being reviewed with them.  Practical training could be a lockout demonstration and hazard identification test.

Inspections:  Once all of these items are in place, incorporate them into your inspections.  A preventative maintenance inspection should include all safeguarding devices. 

Testing:  All safeguarding devices should be tested.  Some are tested as part of the safety circuit, note that and document it in the safe work procedure.  For others, determine the testing frequency.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Summer Checklist 2018

An important concept in machine safeguarding is maintainability.  We can have all the safeguards in place for operators and third parties, but what of the employees that service the equipment?  Here are some items that can form a checklist to see how your equipment is safeguarded for maintainability and how it could be improved.

1.  Lubrication:  An important function to keep equipment running optimally.  Some equipment may have multiple lubrication points for different power transmission items.

CHECK: Are these lubrication points located near a hazard?  Could they be relocated away from the hazard zone to reduce risk but also allow lubrication while the machine is in operation?

2.  Worn Parts: Equipment can have belts and chains and other transmission devices to deliver power to the equipment.

CHECK: Are the parts to be serviced located behind guards?  Do these guards need to be removed often to reach these parts?  Are they secured and interlocked to allow ease of access and to ensure prevention of start-up until they are replaced?

3.  Root Cause Analysis:  Many problems can occur with equipment that can cause electrical panels to be opened and guards to be removed.

CHECK: Do you have a process in place to find root cause of failures?  Can you identify the root cause to rectify the problem and reduce the frequency of access needed to these hazard areas?

These are just some quick areas that can be discussed with the team.  Have any suggestions for items to check?  Post in the comments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Critical Item: Power Outage Protection

Hazard: Have you ever been in a scenario where you or someone you know was working on a machine and it lost power? This could happen for a number of reasons: power outage, machine overload, disconnected plug or accidental trip of a breaker. If you don’t know why the machine shut off, what would be your first reaction? Could it be to open up the machine and investigate? Perhaps walk away until the issue is resolved? But what happens when the power is restored? If the machine has not been designed with power outage protection, it may start up automatically. Think of the potential serious outcomes of a machine starting up unexpectedly. Best-case scenario is that no one is inside the machine and someone notices and turns it off. Worst-case scenario is catastrophic.

Safeguard Required: Machines must have a means to prevent automatic restart when they are re-energized following an interruption in the energy supply. This can be attained by the use of self-maintained relays, contactors or valves.

Reference: CSA Z432-16: Safeguarding of Machinery, Clause

Verification: There is a simple way to test if your machines have power outage protection. With the machine on and running pull the plug or turn off the disconnect, once the machine has come to a stop turn on the disconnect or plug the machine back in and take note if it starts back up again on its own. Common machines that are often missing power outage protection are small, manual machines such as band saws, table saws, drill presses and grinders.

Want more information on power outage protection or other machine hazards? Give us a call!


anti-restart protection

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Training Opportunity - CSA Z432-16: Safeguarding of Machinery

A significant percentage of injuries in the workplace can be attributed to machine-related incidents. Any machine that may cause injury must be safeguarded. Join us for this one-day course as we walk you through how to apply this crucial CSA standard at your workplace through clear explanation, real-life examples and practical exercises.

Date - May 31, 2018

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CSA Z432-16 Safeguarding of Machinery


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Training Opportunity - Mastering Machine Risk Assessments

Task-based risk assessments are the key to successful machine guarding plans. Join us for this one day class as we teach the CSA Z432-16 risk assessment methodology through classroom learning and shop floor exercises. A proper risk assessment will allow you to design custom guarding solutions, gain support and buy-in from all affected parties, install the right solution the first time and show your due diligence.

Date - April 25, 2018

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