Canadian Manufacturing

Machines, technology and hazards in manufacturing

New standards and training can help keep your workers safe

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—Sponsored article by CSA Group

The manufacturing industry is both diverse and complex, consisting of a wide variety of workplaces, from food and beverage to textiles to chemicals.

One quick look around and you’ll see many products resulting from the manufacturing sector. The ceramic that comprises your coffee cup, the paper your newspaper is printed on, the wood in your kitchen table, and the materials that make up your car.

The sheer size and diversity of this industrial sector brings with it a wide variety of potentially serious workplace hazards. Many of these are machine hazards, including improper guarding and lockout, as well as hazards associated with moving parts.

Hazards can also arise from steel storage racks and evolving technologies such as the use of industrial robots. In an effort to address these manufacturing hazards, CSA Group has published new editions of several important standards, as well as training, to help protect workers.

Safeguarding of machinery
Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe injuries in the manufacturing sector. Machine safeguarding measures are essential to protecting workers who come into contact with machines as part of their job duties. Any machine that may cause injury must be safeguarded.

Changing technology related to machines and the need for a document that would reflect the latest thinking concerning operator and equipment safety prompted the development of the third edition of CSA Z432- Safeguarding of Machinery. The standard specifies requirements for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance, operation, and safeguarding of industrial equipment to prevent injuries and accidents and enhance the safety of personnel who operate, assemble, and maintain machinery.

In addition, CSA Group and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) collaborated to create an interactive on-site course based on the new edition of CSA Z432. The training was designed to Increase knowledge of key concepts within the new edition of CSA Z432 including new terms, definitions, requirements and alignment/integrations with ISO.

Industrial robots
When job duties are too dangerous and demanding for workers, robots can perform these near-impossible tasks. Hazards associated with robots can be unique to a particular robot system. How can workplaces ensure safety when using this innovative technology?

CSA Group published the third edition of CAN/CSA- Z434 Industrial Robots and Robot Systems—a voluntary standard that applies to the manufacture, remanufacture, rebuild, installation, safeguarding, maintenance and repair, testing and start-up, and personnel training requirements for industrial robots and robot systems.

Again, CSA Group and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) collaborated to create an interactive on-site course based on the latest edition of CSA Z434.

The course provides a review of the benefits of CSA Z434 as well as the updates and significant changes. It’s aimed at end users who are ultimately responsible for the installation, safety and maintenance of industrial robots and can be adapted to meet the specific requirements of specific workplaces. Facilitated by a technical expert qualified in robotics, participants also receive a copy of the CSA Z434 standard.

Steel storage racks
Steel storage racks maximize space usage for logistics, storage and distribution. In manufacturing, they’re a common occurrence and can contain potentially serious hazards if racks are worn or damaged. Proper inspection and maintenance of steel storage racks can save lives in addition to helping to reduce costly downtime, property losses, potential prosecution and fines.

CSA Group offers a one-day course that provides participants with an introduction to the inspection and maintenance sections of the CSA User Guide for Steel Storage Racks.

Lockout—Control of hazardous energy
Unintended or deliberate release of hazardous energy is a very real threat associated with industrial machines and equipment. Businesses that require their employees to work on or near hazardous energy must implement safety best practices, and need to be able to demonstrate due diligence towards prevention of electrical injuries.

While there are several effective methods for controlling hazardous energy associated with potentially harmful machines, equipment, and processes, lockout is recognized as the primary method. CSA Group published Z460—Control of Hazardous Energy—Lockout and Other Methods that specifies requirements and performance objectives for procedures, techniques, designs, and methods to protect workers from injury due to inadvertent release of hazardous energy.

Training is also available—a one-day course that provides a comprehensive review of lockout safety that can help your organization meet the criteria set by legislation.

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide. For more information about CSA Group visit

To view more articles on workplace safety, business strategy and industry standards, see the Safety & Sustainability Success Centre.

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