Machine, Tools and Equipment

What are Machines, Tools & Equipment?

Machines, Tools & EquipmentEmployees work with machines, tools and equipment every day. Workplaces couldn't operate without them; however, interacting with them has potential for serious injuries or fatalities if they are not used and maintained properly.

The potential hazards are numerous, and include:
Safety hazards

  • Contact with moving parts
  • Contact with electricity, heat, fire, cold, and other energies
  • Contact with pressurized gas or liquid

Health hazards

  • Contact with harmful chemicals or biological hazards
  • Contact with harmful noise, radiation, and/or vibration
  • Exposure to ergonomic or MSD hazards

What the law says

Workplace machine safety law in Ontario is based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Regulations specified under the Act that are applicable to specific workplaces.

In the Act, the sections dealing with responsibilities of employers (s.25), supervisors (s.27) and workers (s.28) set out general duties with respect to machine safety.

How machines, tools and equipment safety can affect your business

A safe environment is a productive workplace. Health and safety is not simply a legal obligation: it is a business opportunity. You can boost your bottom line by improving health and safety performance, which reduces the costs associated with avoidable losses and lost-time injuries, and leads to higher productivity.

 

What you can do

Machinery and other workplace equipment can be dangerous if not used properly. Anyone using equipment in the workplace needs to be thoroughly trained in its operation and kept up to date. Here are other ways to help staff stay safe when using equipment.

  • Keep the work area clean, tidy, well swept/washed, and well lit; floors should be level and have a non-slip surface.
  • Do not remove any guarding devices; make sure that they are in position and in good working condition before operating.
  • Follow lock-out procedures before measuring, cleaning or making any adjustments.
  • Check and adjust all safety devices before each job.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective gear as prescribed, including CSA-approved safety glasses with side shields (prescription eye wear is not a substitute).
  • Ensure that all cutting tools and blades are clean and sharp; they should be able to cut freely without being forced.
  • Ensure there is enough room around the machine.
  • Ensure that all stationary equipment is anchored securely to the floor.
  • Keep hands away from the cutting head and all moving parts.
  • Avoid awkward operations and hand positions: sudden slips could cause the hand to move into the cutting tool or blade.
  • Do not leave machines unattended: turn the power off.
  • Avoid distracting an operator; horseplay can lead to injuries.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing, gloves, neckties, rings, bracelets or other jewelry that can become entangled in moving parts; confine long hair; do not use rags near moving parts of the machine.
  • Return all portable tooling to their proper storage place after use.
  • Clean all tools after use.
  • Do not use cutting fluids to clean hands.
  • Use a vacuum, brush or rake to remove any cuttings.
  • Do not use compressed air to blow debris from machines or from worker clothes.

Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

Machine & Robot Safety

Machine & Robot Safety

Our technical specialists will work with you to: Review your program to ensure your practices align with current legislation; Assess and evaluate the risks associated with your robotic safety applications; Discuss control measures to mitigate the risks; Provide support in implementing corrective action.

Training

Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (1/2 day)

Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (1/2 day)

In this 1/2 day program you will learn about the requirements, how to assess if Section 7 applies, and if a PSR is required.
View Details 
$149.00

Inspecting and Maintaining Steel Storage Racks (1 day)

Inspecting and Maintaining Steel Storage Racks (1 day)

Gain experience inspecting storage racks in this course offered in collaboration with CSA Group.
View Details 
$539.00

Lift Trucks and Other Lifting Devices

Lift Trucks and Other Lifting Devices

Variety of offerings for operators and instructors including practical training and testing. Price: Varies per program.
View Details 
Call for pricing

Crane & Hoist Safety

Crane & Hoist Safety

Variety of offerings for operators and instructors including practical training and testing. Available for on-site delivery only. Price: Varies per program.
View Details 
Call for pricing

Robot Safety: Decoding and Applying CSA Z434 (1 Day)

Robot Safety: Decoding and Applying CSA Z434 (1 Day)

Understand how to apply the key requirements of the revised CSA Z434 Industrial robots and robot systems standard to your workplaces.

View Details 
$539.00

E-Courses

(ON) Ladder Safety in Ontario (45 minutes)

(ON) Ladder Safety in Ontario (45 minutes)

Helps employees in Ontario to inspect, set-up, and safely use ladders on the job and at home.
View Details 
$29.00

Lockout (English) (1 hour)

Lockout (English) (1 hour)

Lockout is used during operations such as maintenance, repair, cleaning and replacement of machinery, during which normal control measures may not be working, and new hazards may occur.
View Details 
$49.00

Lockout (French) (1 hour)

Lockout (French) (1 hour)

Lockout is used during operations such as maintenance, repair, cleaning and replacement of machinery, during which normal control measures may not be working, and new hazards may occur.
View Details 
$49.00

Reference Products

Inspecting Physical Conditions, Guidelines for Setting Standards (8th Edition)

Inspecting Physical Conditions, Guidelines for Setting Standards (8th Edition)

A comprehensive, print-based resource that identifies applicable laws and standards and provides detailed guidelines relating to over 30 workplace hazards and 20 controls.
View Details 
$119.00

Self-paced Training

Lockout / Tagout: Self-Study Training Program - Additional Print Package

Lockout / Tagout: Self-Study Training Program - Additional Print Package

Additional print package for the Lockout / Tagout: Self-Study Training Program.
View Details 
$38.75

Downloads

A User's Guide to Conveyor Belt Safety

A User's Guide to Conveyor Belt Safety

This guide suggests possible preventative measures so that work on or near conveyors can be performed safely. Developed by IRSST/CSST in collaboration with stakeholders.

1900 KB PDF
Self-Assessment Form - Arc and Oxy Fuel Gas Welding and Cutting

Self-Assessment Form - Arc and Oxy Fuel Gas Welding and Cutting

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
338 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Bandsaw

Self-Assessment Form - Bandsaw

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
393 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Bench Grinder and Portable Grinder

Self-Assessment Form - Bench Grinder and Portable Grinder

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
379 KB pdf
Self- Assessment Form - Bending Machine

Self- Assessment Form - Bending Machine

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
1407 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Cranes and Lifting Devices

Self-Assessment Form - Cranes and Lifting Devices

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
308 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Drill Press

Self-Assessment Form - Drill Press

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
402 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Lift Truck

Self-Assessment Form - Lift Truck

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
347 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Non-Motorized Material Handling Equipment

Self-Assessment Form - Non-Motorized Material Handling Equipment

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
326 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Punch Press

Self-Assessment Form - Punch Press

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
1501 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Roll Bender (Forming Machine)

Self-Assessment Form - Roll Bender (Forming Machine)

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
395 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Shearing Machine

Self-Assessment Form - Shearing Machine

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
1333 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Standard Lathe

Self-Assessment Form - Standard Lathe

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
631 KB pdf
Self-Assessment Form - Standard Milling Machine

Self-Assessment Form - Standard Milling Machine

This self-assessment form was developed as a result of a study on occupational health and safety for small companies in the metal processing industry. Researchers determined that companies with limited resources and time most need these simple tools for rapid intervention on real issues. 

The. zip file you will download contains two files; a user's guide and the self-assessment form.
396 KB pdf
Working in the Service or Pick-Up Area

Working in the Service or Pick-Up Area

This guideline identifies the hazards associated with working in a restaurant service pick-up area.  It also provides safe work guidelines that will help you eliminate or reduce the risk.
252 KB pdf
Working on a Conveyor Belt

Working on a Conveyor Belt

This guideline outlines the hazards associated with working with or near conveyor belts.  It also offers safe work practices to help reduce or eliminate the risk of injury.
234 KB pdf
Preparing a Boat for Body Work or Repainting

Preparing a Boat for Body Work or Repainting

This guideline highlights the hazards associated with preparing a boat for body work or repainting and provides safe work guidelines to reduce or eliminate risk.
258 KB pdf
Cooking and Baking

Cooking and Baking

This guideline highlights the hazards associated with cooking and baking and provides safe work guidelines to help minimalize or eliminate the risk.
265 KB pdf
Removing and Installing Fuel Tanks in Boats

Removing and Installing Fuel Tanks in Boats

This guideline provides details about the hazards associated with removing and installing fuel tanks in boats and offers safe work guidelines to avoid risk of injury.
274 KB pdf
Changing Engine Oil in Inboard Motors

Changing Engine Oil in Inboard Motors

This guideline provides information about the hazards associated with changing engine oil in inboard motors and offers safe work guidelines to minimalize or eliminate the hazard.
265 KB pdf
Preparing Foods with Knives

Preparing Foods with Knives

Knives are always hazardous; whether they are sharp or dull and whether they are in use or being stored.  This guideline provides advice on proper use and care of knives.
254 KB pdf
Abrasive (Grinding) Wheels

Abrasive (Grinding) Wheels

This guideline helps you understand the hazards associated with abrasive grinding wheels and how to control them.
420 KB pdf
Large Bale Harvesting Equipment Safety

Large Bale Harvesting Equipment Safety

The biggest hazard in working with these large machines is their physical size.  Large bales of hay or straw can weigh from 225 kg to 1300 kg, and these can create additional risks.
253 KB pdf
Using and Cleaning a Deep Fryer

Using and Cleaning a Deep Fryer

There are many hazards that you can come into contact when working with or cleaning a deep fryer.  These include hot oil, slippery floors and handling heavy items.
276 KB pdf
Safe Implement Hitching: A Guide for Safe Connection of Agricultural Tractors to Implements

Safe Implement Hitching: A Guide for Safe Connection of Agricultural Tractors to Implements

This guide, developed by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) provides information that farm machinery owners and operators can use for correctly connecting agricultural tractors to implements and other towed equipment such as wagons, grain carts, etc.

PAMI is an applied research, development, and testing organization serving manufacturers and farmers.
2037 KB pdf
Stocking

Stocking

There are many hazards related to stocking.  This download will help you identify potential hazards and what to do to minimize or eliminate exposure to them.
261 KB pdf
Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is predetermined work performed to a schedule with the aim of preventing the wear and tear or sudden failure of equipment components thereby protecting assets and prolonging the useful life of production equipment.  It is an important, ongoing accident prevention activity, that should be integrated into your operations and product manufacturing processes.
280 KB pdf
Using Landscaping Equipment

Using Landscaping Equipment

This guideline will help understand the general safety practices associated with the use of landscaping equipment.
342 KB pdf
Using Meat Band Saws

Using Meat Band Saws

This document provides information about potential injuries and safe work guidelines associated with the use of meat band saws.
123 KB pdf
Working with Tires and Rim Assemblies

Working with Tires and Rim Assemblies

Safe work practices associated with deflating and inflating tires, and mounting and dismounting tire and rim assemblies (including trucks) are outlined in this guideline.
298 KB pdf
Removing Miscellaneous Parts

Removing Miscellaneous Parts

Different parts present different hazards; same removal requires caution and attention.
271 KB pdf
Removing Parts with an Oxyacetylene Torch

Removing Parts with an Oxyacetylene Torch

Removing parts with an oxyacetylene torch puts you at risk from welding fumes, flames, and compressed gases, as well as from sharp edges in the parts and from having to work at an awkward posture.
270 KB pdf
Removing and Storing Fuel Tanks

Removing and Storing Fuel Tanks

Fuel tanks are dangerous to work on or store; this guideline outlines hazards and recommendations for safe work practices.
264 KB pdf
Using Chainsaws

Using Chainsaws

This guideline provides information about the proper use and care of chainsaws.
138 KB pdf
Using Kitchen Equipment Safely

Using Kitchen Equipment Safely

This guideline identifies kitchen equipment hazards and safe work practices.
325 KB pdf
Removing Engines

Removing Engines

Removing engines exposes you to hazards from gasoline, solvents, other flammables, oils, other lubricants, Freon and sulphuric acid, as well as improper use of tools and awkward positioning.
268 KB pdf
Agricultural Tractor Safety

Agricultural Tractor Safety

Tractors are involved in many farm accidents--accounting for about two-thirds of all fatalities.  Manufacturers have added many safety features, but these do not replace a trained operator who is aware of the potential hazards of operating a tractor safely.
381 KB pdf
Lockout

Lockout

Lockout means to physically neutralize all energies in a piece of equipment before beginning any maintenance or repair work.
269 KB pdf
Using Microwave Ovens

Using Microwave Ovens

Improper use of microwave ovens can cause burns from steam, hot food or containers, and may cause eye injuries.
250 KB 
Using or Maintaining a Garbage or Cardboard Compactor

Using or Maintaining a Garbage or Cardboard Compactor

Compactors can present both mechanical and electrical hazards.  They pose serious threat of injury or death, or amputation.
343 KB 
Working with Portable Tools

Working with Portable Tools

Some of the hazards associated with portable tools can be controlled through their proper use and care.
138 KB 
Removing Air Conditioner Parts

Removing Air Conditioner Parts

Removing air conditioning parts in vehicles can expose a worker to health and safety hazards, as well as environmental concerns.
485 KB 
Using Backhoes or Loaders

Using Backhoes or Loaders

Backhoes and loaders pose a threat for serious injuries like crushed legs, arms or other body parts, hearing loss, and illness or death from carbon monoxide or nitrous oxide poisoning.
362 KB 
Scaffolds

Scaffolds

To prevent falling accidents, ensure that there are proper procedures in place to prevent the worker from falling from the scaffold, or from it collapsing.
136 KB 
Machine Safety

Machine Safety

There are numerous potential hazards around machinery and equipment, such as cutting edges, gears, chains, revolving shafts, rotating blades and levers.
1300 KB PDF

Articles

Inspecting robot systems: 7 ways to boost JHSC performance

Inspecting robot systems: 7 ways to boost JHSC performance

The day may come when industrial robots can inspect their cells for hazards that could hurt their human co-workers, but for now it's still the responsibility of joint heath and safety committees (JHSCs).

Feb 13, 2017
New! Revitalized machine safeguarding standard

New! Revitalized machine safeguarding standard

A lot has changed in the last 12 years when it comes to machine safety: technology, hazard combinations, solutions, and even the scope of health and safety. These changes have prompted a comprehensive updating of CSA's 2004 (R2014) machine safeguarding standard.

Jan 17, 2017
New for 2017: Warehouse Safety Conference

New for 2017: Warehouse Safety Conference

Warehouses and distribution centres face unique challenges when it comes to health and safety. It's especially important for these facilities to stay up to date with health and safety best practices because of the nature of their environment. The 2017 Warehouse Safety Conference will tackle the issues specifically facing warehouses and distribution centres in today's ever changing climate. Learn about the latest legislation impacting your company and how to avoid hazards and liability, while networking with your peers at the 2017 Warehouse Safety Conference, February 21-23 in Mississauga.

Jan 13, 2017
4 ways to get to know your safeguarding options (video)

4 ways to get to know your safeguarding options (video)

You're purchasing a new piece of equipment or upgrading an existing one, and need to know the best safeguarding options. Will a fixed guard do the trick? Or do you need a more advanced solution, such as a perimeter guard and/or light curtain?

Nov 04, 2016
Purchasing a robot system? Ask your integrator these 5 essential safety questions

Purchasing a robot system? Ask your integrator these 5 essential safety questions

Introducing a new robot system is a heady moment for any workplace. These sophisticated systems can revolutionize your production process, setting new standards for consistency, precision, and quality.

Nov 04, 2016
Machine safety for small business: assess your safeguarding in 4 easy steps

Machine safety for small business: assess your safeguarding in 4 easy steps

It's just 2.5 minutes in length, but WSPS' video Assess Your Safeguarding in Four Easy Steps provides crucial information on how to keep your employees safe from machine hazards.
Oct 06, 2016
7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

Robot systems may seem complicated and mysterious, but working safely around them doesn't have to be, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. He offers seven ways for operators to protect themselves while working with a robot system. They're all based on this fundamental principle: robot systems can't work in tandem with us. We have to work in tandem with them.

Jun 07, 2016
7 ways to jump-start your machine safety inspections

7 ways to jump-start your machine safety inspections

When WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson visits workplaces, he often comes across joint health and safety committee members reviewing machine guarding as part of their regular inspections. "That's a good thing," says Wilson, "but what's common can quickly become routine." This is one reason why, despite workplaces' best intentions, contact with machinery remains a top hazard in Ontario workplaces.

May 05, 2016
9 steps to take after a racking incident

9 steps to take after a racking incident

"If you look at pictures of collapsed racking, it looks like a war zone," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. "Just a mangled mess of intertwined metal pieces that can cover a large area." This frightening scenario, with its obvious risks to people and property, can occur when warehouses repeatedly fail to identify and fix racking damage. It's often a case of "one time too many," says Kramer.

May 05, 2016
Can your respirator program accommodate hipster beards and other physical changes?

Can your respirator program accommodate hipster beards and other physical changes?

The term "fashion victim" takes on new meaning when the trendy full beards hipsters are sporting start interfering with respirator face seals. Wagish Yajaman, occupational hygienist and supervisor of WSPS' Technical Services, sees this firsthand in workplaces he visits.

Apr 04, 2016
Machine safeguarding: understand your risks

Machine safeguarding: understand your risks

"Company Fined… $50,000 After Worker Injured By Machine… $60,000 After Worker Loses Fingers… $110,000 in Death of Electrocuted Worker" - these recent headlines all tell similar stories of preventable safeguarding injuries. We can stop these headlines, says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. It's all about being proactive, and that starts with understanding the risks.
Mar 03, 2016
10 proven best practices for managing safety around lifting devices

10 proven best practices for managing safety around lifting devices

Loading docks are one of the busiest spots in any workplace, with trucks, trailers, pedestrians, lifting devices and other equipment regularly moving in and out of the area. These activities often extend into other parts of the workplace, including storage and manufacturing areas, delivery yards, and even retail floor space. How do you keep lifting device operators, other workers, visitors and customers safe amid all this activity?

Feb 10, 2016
Master robot system safety - with a little help from WSPS

Master robot system safety - with a little help from WSPS

For robot system manufacturers, initiators and end users, CSA Z434 - Industrial robots and robot systems is the definitive tool for mastering robot system safety. It offers vital information on the manufacture, rebuild, installation, safeguarding, maintenance and repair, testing and start-up, and employee training requirements. Trouble is, the 216-page standard is not exactly light reading.

Feb 10, 2016
2 high hazard conveyor priorities - just in time for the machinery safety blitz

2 high hazard conveyor priorities - just in time for the machinery safety blitz

Ministry of Labour inspectors will be on high alert for conveyor belt violations during the safe operation of machinery blitz running from January 18 to February 26. Here's a tip for any workplace with a conveyor: most injuries occur during cleaning and maintenance. In fact, two Ontario firms were recently fined $60,000 each after workers were injured while cleaning conveyor belts.

Jan 12, 2016
6 steps and 4 suggestions to prepare for January's machine safety blitz and beyond

6 steps and 4 suggestions to prepare for January's machine safety blitz and beyond

Prepare now for a January 18 to February 26, 2016 inspection blitz on the safe operation of machinery. The blitz will focus on machines that are not guarded, blocked or locked out during maintenance, repair and other operations. "If it were my workplace," says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero, "I'd immediately take steps to control high-risk hazards, and then plot an ongoing hazard control strategy."

Dec 07, 2015
Cascading safety failures: 7 lessons to help prevent injuries or fatalities

Cascading safety failures: 7 lessons to help prevent injuries or fatalities

At some point, every workplace will have contractors performing work on site. Mostly they work safely and productively. But a recent incident in which a contractor's employee fell to his death and a co-worker sustained injuries shows how a cascading series of failures can have devastating effects. WSPS consultant Lois Weeks offers seven takeaways from this tragic and preventable incident. But first, here's what happened.

Sep 04, 2015
Material handling blitz #2: 6 steps to implement a traffic management plan

Material handling blitz #2: 6 steps to implement a traffic management plan

Traffic management plans are a priority for Ministry of Labour inspectors visiting workplaces during the current material handling blitz, which runs from September 14 to October 23. These plans are also good for business: they help eliminate or control the risk of collisions, allowing you to move goods within your facility safely and efficiently. "It's all part of a managed health and safety system," says WSPS technical consultant Chuck Leon.

Sep 04, 2015
Preventing robot system injuries: 6 pointers from a WSPS expert

Preventing robot system injuries: 6 pointers from a WSPS expert

In July 1984, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an article, likely the first of its kind, entitled "Preventing the Injury of Workers by Robots." In September 2014, the Boston Consulting Group projected the rise of robot systems to be a US$67 billion market by 2025. The rate of adoption is faster than anticipated. Workplaces, take note.

Aug 06, 2015
How eBay Enterprise stays LTI-free even during construction

How eBay Enterprise stays LTI-free even during construction

Employees at e-Bay Enterprise's Mississauga facility have checked off almost 1900 days with no lost-time injuries despite explosive business growth and a construction program that tripled the size of the original site, all while the operation was still running. How did they do it? Attendees of WSPS' recent Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show heard the story firsthand from Shawn Heroux, the facility's manager of safety and security.

Jun 08, 2015
New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

CSA Group's new robot and robot systems safety standard, to be released any day now, includes new user-friendly tools to help workplaces conduct risk assessments, build a safe robot system, and quantitatively measure its functional safety. "This latest version of the standard makes risk assessment priority one," says Tom Eastwood, a WSPS machine safeguarding specialist and chair of the technical committee responsible for CSA-Z434 - Industrial Robots and Robot Systems. "Workplaces need to conduct risk assessments for all aspects of the automation cell they're putting together."

Nov 06, 2014
Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Jack Walton, owner of five Midas Auto Service and Tires stores in Markham, Newmarket, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, and Scarborough, is an all-in kind of guy. No half measures here.

Oct 09, 2014
Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

From November 3 to December 14, the Ministry of Labour's Health and Safety Blitz initiative will focus on machine safety in the workplace. "Inspectors will probably apply a straight-forward approach to machine safety," says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. "Are there guards in place? Are they, in fact, restricting access to hazardous motion? Are they being properly maintained?"

Sep 05, 2014
Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail guns are powerful time savers, but can be as deadly as a weapon. Think about the training and licensing necessary before a person is permitted to purchase and operate a firearm for the purposes of hunting. How much training do we put into ensuring our nail gun operators are competent?

Jul 04, 2014
Myth buster: clearing up misconceptions about lift devices

Myth buster: clearing up misconceptions about lift devices

Nothing makes Chuck Leon's blood boil faster than hearing someone spout a lift truck myth or misconception. "And there are plenty of them," says Leon. He's a WSPS warehouse/material handling specialist with years of experience as an operator and a consultant, and knows firsthand that misinformation is dangerous. It can put people at risk and cause significant property damage.

Jun 05, 2014
Ministry of Labour releases new training standard for people working at heights

Ministry of Labour releases new training standard for people working at heights

Employers of people who work at heights now have a training standard that they can adopt to prevent falls and improve safety. The just-released Working at Heights Training Program Standard is intended for workers who use travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems or safety nets.

Jan 10, 2014
Racking blitz results: maintenance #1 issue

Racking blitz results: maintenance #1 issue

Results of a November 2011 inspection blitz of hazards involving racking and storage systems suggest many employers are falling short on ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices are maintained in good condition. While on site, the inspectors focused on five priorities. How would your pallet and racking system measure up? See “How to improve racking safety in your workplace” for sample tips.
Apr 17, 2012
November blitz: racking

November blitz: racking

Any workplace with pallet racking is a potential target for inspectors during a month-long blitz starting November 1. “If you have lift trucks and pallet racks,” says Don Brown, a provincial specialist with the Ministry of Labour’s Industrial Health and Safety Program, “we’ll be interested in having inspectors visit your workplace.”
Oct 11, 2011