Archive of Safety - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 1)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 11, 2012 @ 11:17 am

A few years ago, I was working with an internal integration group for a manufacturing company which had facilities in many domestic and international locations. One of the initiatives I had undertaken was to redevelop procedures for assessing safety hazards on automated equipment. Safety_WorkPlace_MachineWith the planned adoption of the International Standards Organization document ISO:13849-1:2006, the older EN-954 standard was slated for retraction by the European Standards Organization. Anticipating this retraction, we needed to take another look at our own risk analysis and mitigation procedures in order to maintain complia...

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4 Rules For Designing Safety into Control Systems

Posted by Brad Ems on November 13, 2012 @ 9:47 am

When you see a talk about safety, your first expectation is probably something on proper PPE, procedures or other aspects of safety that are typical fodder for safety “toolbox talks.” What I’d like to discuss in this post, at least in a very general way, is how to design safety into your process control system. First off, a disclaimer: I am an engineer, although not (yet) a PE and I have no certification in any safety-related field. I do have roughly 30 years of experience in working around heavy equipment, much of it quite dangerous to life, limb, and property if the risks are not properly ...

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Key Safety Metrics

Posted by Gene Niewoehner on January 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

You can tell a lot about a company, by taking a quick look at their annual report and website. In today’s economy, it’s the results that count — that’s easy to understand —but leading companies take a more holistic approach to measuring safety. If you can only find results or lagging measures, look elsewhere; the lagging measures are functionally useless when it comes to evaluating a company’s future success. Instead, look for companies that provide results along with proactive or leading measures. When you find one, you’ve likely found a company known for its product or service quality, customer service, productivity and financial success. There are many ways to measure success, but I believe quality, service, productivity, financial, and environmental, health and safety are all linked through a company’s systems and culture. Break one link, and the company will exper...

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Why Don’t Employees Report Near Misses?

Posted by Gene Niewoehner on November 16, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

Would you stand idly by while a two-year old chews on an electrical cord plugged into a live electrical outlet? Would you watch a relative stand on the top rung of your wobbly wooden ladder to help you hang Christmas lights? All of us would answer the first question with a very quick "no." The second, some of you may answer with a laugh, depends on who the relative is. But let’s assume some level of safety consciousness is inherent in all of us; we know right from wrong and, for this discussion, the answer to both of these questions is no. With two “no” answers, why is it so hard to get employees to recognize and report near misses? Research shows that for every 15 near misses, there will be one injury. In other words, that’s 15 missed opportunities to prevent injury. Let’s face it; no one wants to see someone injured. Ignoring a near miss — and the conditions that led ...

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