For some time now I’ve been using the “Gotcha stick” which I received free from Sti/Omron. Those of you familiar with Figure 5 (the the graphical illustration of Table 3) in CSA Z432 will recognize what this is. In short it is a scale based on ergonomic data that allows me to check guard openings are small enough for the distance to the nearest hazard.
It works, it’s dimensions are correct and the information printed on it is correct, yet the screen-print ink has been wearing off and a few months ago I took the measure of covering the remaining text with transparent tape. Thus far the remaining text has been preserved, but I decided to search around for a replacement. (I did request another from Sti/Omron’s site, but no love there yet.)
There are a few companies out there offering the very same thing, one of which is a promotional give-away company in Asia. Basically, if I wanted to make a minimum order of 1000, I could have them print whatever logo I wanted on there. This is probably where Sti/Omron and others got their’s from.
I’m not really interested in spending several thousand dollars for a plastic stick. If it came to that I would probably just lay one out in CAD and run it through my laser printer on brochure stock. However, I did find one made of aluminum produced by Danray Products. Their web order is only for the US, but they noted a number to call on their site for international orders. I called and Ryan on the phone was personable and easy to deal with, and I ordered one for $20 including the postage. I received my new stick within a week in the mail along with some literature for their other products.
The Danray stick is aluminum, gold anodized with printing their literature claims won’t rub off. It has the ANSI/CSA table both as a function of the gap size (same as the plastic stick) and the inverse as a function of distance, with metric and imperial on opposite sides. It folds in two segments rather than three, is about a third the thickness and three inches longer than the plastic stick. Being aluminum I expect it won’t stain and I should be able to clean it more easily. My plastic stick right now is dirty and stained with red ink.
Overall the Danray scale looks very nice and certainly is much more professional than the plastic stick covered in stained transparent tape. The only downside is that being machined aluminum I think the edges are a little sharp, but nothing that a quick rub with fine sand paper wouldn’t fix.