Thursday, May 25, 2017

CSA Z432-16 Training Session - June 21, 2017

Did you know that CSA published a new edition of the machine guarding standard? Would you like to learn more about how to apply this standard at your workplace? Join us for a training session on CSA Z432-16: Safeguarding of Machinery, June 21 in Winnipeg, MB. Click here for further information.

CSA Z432-16

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why do we start with risk assessments?

  1. Getting everyone involved: The first important step is get the right people involved.  A risk assessment is best done with representation from all parties involved.  The operator of the equipment, the supervisor of the operators, maintenance personnel who service the equipment, engineers that specify and support the equipment and health and safety team members who know the types of injuries that can occur.  Others can be involved, as many people that are needed to get an accurate picture of the activities and their hazards.  This team’s first task is to list all the activities and the hazards that each activity has.  The primary method of gathering this information is the review of the work process, but other sources of information can come from the manufacturer, or previous injuries and near misses that have occurred.
  2. Showing your due diligence:  Sometimes safeguarding can be complicated.  The answer you come up with may have some considerations that may not be apparent to someone at first glance.  There may need to be a change of procedure for the application to be valid.  Just like the old days of exams, show your work!  That’s what a risk assessment does.  It shows the work that was done to come up with a solution.  Why is that valuable?  So, if you haven’t zeroed in on the right answer, someone can see the thought process and help.  If you have a great solution, show how you came up with it to ensure understanding of how it meets compliance.
  3. Have your controls met the risk reduction goal:  The risk assessment is like a scorecard.  After controls are put in place, you need to review the risk assessment with the team and add scores to them.  What if when you score the new controls the risk hasn’t changed?  Then that’s a good indicator that your solution might not be valid.  If your goal is to reduce risk, the risk assessment can tell you when you are heading in the right direction.
  4. What performance level do you need:  With these new controls, its important to know the reliability needed to meet compliance.  This applies mainly on the electrical side, but is used for all controls.  The risk assessment can outline what level of redundancy and performance is needed for your safety control circuit.

    Good luck, and never hesitate to contact us about risk assessments.


Monday, May 01, 2017

What are you doing this NAOSH Week?

Planning a NAOSH Week event?  Having an innovative idea and delivering it to as many people as possible are a great starting point.  Here are some ideas to take that foundation and create lasting effects in your organization.

  1. Use a cross functional team to plan the event.  Like a risk assessment, it takes a lot of different view points to ensure the result is something that varied groups in the organization can get value from.  Shop workers may have some great insight into what will be effective ways to engage them.  Management can ensure that company goals for the year are reflected in the material or event.  To have a lasting effect the event must bring value to all parties in an organization.  Having them represented in the planning is a means to accomplish that.
  2. Consider opening your event to the public or community.  Events where family can participate are fantastic ways to have a lasting impact.  When you think about safety and why you are doing it, looking at your family is a great reminder.  You’re doing it to go home safe to them.  An event that celebrates that makes a lasting impact.  Letting the community know what your organization is up to for safety is another great way to promote the event and your organization.
  3. Create material that can be used for training and promotion.  Don’t let lessons learned reside in NAOSH Week alone.  Save materials that you can use year long.  If you have a contest or game, why does it only have to be run during NAOSH Week?  If you made a video, post for employees as a reminder, and for new employees to see what the organization they are joining is all about.
  4. Celebrate and seek recognition for your efforts.  We are a modest bunch here in Manitoba, but sometimes we need to step out of that.  There are awards for NAOSH Week and you should apply and possibly win one of these.  There are provincial and national award and winning these can bring some prestige to your organization and be used the promote the participation.  NAOSH Awards can be applied at

      Have a great NAOSH Week, and if your event involved machine safety, send us some info and we’ll showcase in an upcoming newsletter or blog.

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


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