What should you expect to see in a PHSR report? (sticky post)

Lately I’ve been seeing customers that want a PHSR for a piece of equipment that another engineering company already did a PHSR on.  Why? If an engineer puts his seal on a document you can trust that and carry on business.  Obviously these customers didn’t trust the reports they were given, they thought the other company missed something, and more than that they are exercising their responsibility for due diligence.

Let me start by giving you a bit of an idea on what some of these reports looked like.  Some of the reports were a single double sided page that made a few statements and didn’t provide any background information or provide the customer with enough detail of the specific deficiencies. Some contained risk assessment charts that were not filled in, and those of you that are familiar with CSA Z432 know that the required performance level of safety circuits depends upon the result of the risk assessment. Others missed deficiencies. One even made the statement that a single channel safety circuit provided a sufficient performance level which the customer did not agree with. (For what it’s worth, most machines I review require a control reliable safety circuit performance level.)

This is what I believe you should expect from a PHSR report from a Professional Engineer.

  1. The specifics of the equipment under review such as make/model/serial number, location, equipment owner and contact information.
  2. The reviewer’s seal and contact information.
  3. The defined scope. That is, what equipment is covered by the report. So for example, a report for a robot cell may exclude ancillary equipment that might have been covered under a separate report. I also include here additional notes to the reader including some verbiage about the need for lock-out-tag-out procedures and the responsibilities of the equipment owner and end-users.
  4. A list of the machine’s safety features, such as guards, interlocked doors, emergency stop buttons, pneumatic air dump valves, etc. Photographs of the design features help on a machine walk-around. This also generally covers the machine’s safety deficiencies, such as gaps in guarding, a lack of a dump valve, etc. For gaps in machine guarding I like to include my “gotcha stick” in the photo to make it clear not only where the problem is, but also to gauge the size of the problem.
  5. A summary listing of the machine safety control system deficiencies.
  6. The risk assessment matrix. This is necessary to determine whether the safety control system is adequate.
  7. A summary listing of the safety deficiencies (non-compliances) and recommended solutions. This should refer to sections of the appropriate code and also any other pertinent details of the other sections in the report. A statement of the corrective action completes the list and gives the customer the “To-Do list”.
  8. A list of supporting documents, such as schematics.
  9. A list of references; standards to which the machine was reviewed to.
  10. I also like to include the machine drawings at the end of the report. It may not seem necessary to include documents the customer already has, but it make a nice little time-capsule of the state of the equipment at the time of the review.

That is it in a nutshell.

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Newsroom : CRS Plastics Ltd. Fined $100,000 for Fatal Health and Safety Violation

This is an example of an unguarded hazard that unfortunately had fatal consequences. The guard was damaged and removed allowing a temporary worker to come in contact with the moving parts of the machine.

Newsroom : CRS Plastics Ltd. Fined $100,000 for Fatal Health and Safety Violation.

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Newsroom : Sof Surfaces Inc. Fined $70,000 After Worker Loses Foot

In this case proper lockout procedures were not followed resulting in a temporary worker losing a foot. Lock-out/tag-out requirements should always be followed.

Newsroom : Sof Surfaces Inc. Fined $70,000 After Worker Loses Foot.

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Newsroom : Property Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Injuries to Hands

Regardless of whether it is in an industrial facility or not, in-running nip points must be guarded to prevent injuries.

Newsroom : Property Company Fined $50,000 After Worker Suffers Injuries to Hands.

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Newsroom : Sun-Brite Foods Inc. Fined $70,000 After Worker Injured in Canning Facility

A seasonal worker suffered a preventable partial amputation of a foot after slipping into the unguarded auger of a new piece of equipment. Other similar machines at the site had guards, but this one was left unguarded.

Newsroom : Sun-Brite Foods Inc. Fined $70,000 After Worker Injured in Canning Facility.

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Newsroom : Brantford Company Fined $170,000 After Worker Crushed Under Equipment

This was a tragic and preventable accident. Fixed guarding was removed and a worker crawled beneath elevated equipment without any kind of blocking and improper troubleshooting methods. The worker was crushed to death after asking a co-worker to actuate the controls of the equipment he was under.

Newsroom : Brantford Company Fined $170,000 After Worker Crushed Under Equipment.

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Newsroom : Gate Gourmet Canada Inc. Fined $58,000 After Worker Loses Fingers

Although this is lockout related, it does demonstrate that that belt drives can cause the amputation of fingers.

Newsroom : Gate Gourmet Canada Inc. Fined $58,000 After Worker Loses Fingers.

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Newsroom : Interlake Acquisition Corporation Ltd. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured

Another case of a slow moving entanglement hazard that most people don’t think needs to be guarded. Multiple broken bones and soft tissue injury resulted.

Newsroom : Interlake Acquisition Corporation Ltd. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured.

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Newsroom : Aluminart Products Ltd. Fined $50,000 After Worker Loses Part of Finger

In this case an operator lost part of a finger. A four inch wide opening was used to feed material which apparently automatically actuated the press. The operator’s hand was still inside the hazard zone when the press actuated. This could have been provided had there been adequate guarding or engineering controls.

Newsroom : Aluminart Products Ltd. Fined $50,000 After Worker Loses Part of Finger.

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Newsroom : Autoneum Canada Ltd. Fined $55,000 After Worker Injured

We often see conveyors with this sort of problem. Many conveyors out there are not properly guarded.

Newsroom : Autoneum Canada Ltd. Fined $55,000 After Worker Injured.

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Newsroom : QBD Cooling Systems Inc. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured

In this case a work was injured after entering a full body access door, closing the door after himself and having a friend outside actuate machine controls. The hazard associated with the task could have been mitigated by a well-thought out and properly designed safety and access system. Proper training on lockout procedures would also have helped.

Newsroom : QBD Cooling Systems Inc. Fined $65,000 After Worker Injured.

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