Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Understanding the Design Requirements of Electrical Disconnects


When we inspect equipment, one of the things we always check is the presence and state of the electrical disconnect.  You may ask why this is important, after all, it is just a switch. However, a proper disconnect allows your workers to follow safety procedures. Any time a worker must enter a hazard zone, such as during set up, adjustment, cleaning and maintenance tasks, the machine should be locked out. If a machine does not have an accessible, lockable disconnect how will your workers perform lockout? Your workers are not given the tools they need to succeed.

Old disconnects allow the switch to be locked in both the ON and OFF positions. However, there is no need to ever lock a machine in the ON position. Having this functionality opens up the possibility for someone to make a mistake. We have seen it happen before, an experienced worker accidentally locks the machine ON instead of OFF. That is why it is required to have disconnects that are lockable in the OFF position only.

      Take a walk through your shop and look for the following on each machine:

  1. Does the machine have a disconnect to remove power?
  2. Is the disconnect is good working condition?
  3. Is the disconnect labelled?
  4. Is the disconnect accessible?
  5. Is the disconnect lockable in the off position only?

Electrical disconnect lockable in ON and OFF positions:

Electrical disconnect


Electrical disconnect lockable in OFF position only:

disconnect lockable in off position only


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 8:33 PM 0 Comments

Monday, April 17, 2017

NAOSH Week Activity - Who Wants to be a Machine Hazard Expert?

NAOSH Week is May 7-13, 2017 and our clients are always trying to come up with new and exciting activities to do at their workplaces during that week. The best activities are unique, entertaining and leave a lasting impression. This year, we thought we would help out by putting together a fun, engaging and educational activity about machine safety! So we've developed a high-impact 60 minute session where workers can learn how to identify machine hazards and play a team-building game "Who Wants to be a Machine Hazard Expert" (similar format to Who Wants to be a Millionaire). We will also bring donuts and handout prizes! Let us help you make this NAOSH Week one to remember!

Click Here to learn more or contact us today to book your sessions!

NAOSH Week Activity

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 3:41 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Start With Why


We were at the CME Dare to Compete Conference last month and the closing keynote speaker, Stephen Shedletzky, really got me thinking. He talked about Simon Sinek’s theory, “Start with Why”. Do you ever have difficulty convincing people to do something even though you know it is for the best? He said most people make the mistake of explaining WHAT to do or HOW to do something and they expect people to get on the same page as them. But in reality, the WHAT or HOW doesn’t really matter. What matters most is the WHY. And if you can convince people of the WHY, then the WHAT and HOW can easily follow. And I realized in that moment, that this line of thinking has been holding me back my entire life. I’m an engineer, I live in the HOW. But I realized that this is not the way to engage others.

start with why

I started thinking about how I often have trouble explaining to people what we do at Workplace Engineering Solutions. I focus on telling them about machine hazards, the risk assessments, the custom designed guarding solutions. And while some people understand, many stare at me blankly and I often wonder “how can I explain this better?”. But I’ve been going about this completely backwards. I should really be telling them why we do what we do. At Workplace Engineering Solutions, we care about people going home in one piece after every work day, we want mothers and fathers to always have the ability to play with their kids, we want husbands and wives to go to work each day and not have to worry about their spouse, we want companies to be confident that they are doing their best to keep their workers safe, we want managers to spend their resources wisely and install the right guards on machines the first time, we want people to be able to do their jobs safely, we want manufacturing and business to prosper in the Prairies.

Now, does that make more sense? I sure think it does. Try this exercise the next time you are trying to convince your manager to approve an expense, or your employees to work safely or your kids to do the dishes. The same concept can work in all aspects of life. The WHY is what really matters, isn’t it?


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 4:47 PM 0 Comments
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