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Items filtered by date: June 2011
Electro-Pack Inc., a Toronto manufacturer of packaging, was fined $50,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured. On December 5, 2009, a worker was using a machine that forms plastic using heat and a press. The worker noticed a jam in the machine and reached in to remove it. The machine cycled while the worker's hand was still inside. The worker's hand was seriously injured. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the machine was inadequately guarded. Electro-Pack Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the machine was equipped with a guard or other device to prevent access to the moving part. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lynette Stethem. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Published in News
Atlas Copco Canada in Mississauga, Ont., reports local growth in jobs, customers and facilities. With a new national headquarters, four new regional centers and three new service centers, Atlas Copco is positioned to take advantage of an upturn in mining and construction throughout 2011 and into 2012. Atlas Copco Canada began moving into their new headquarters facility in Mississauga on Feb. 14 of this year. The Toronto-area location was chosen for its superior shipping and transportation access. New regional hubs were also opened in Vancouver and Winnipeg, joining existing hubs in Sudbury and Quebec. “These hubs put Atlas Copco product that much closer to the customer, and speed up shipping and response time,” said Radomir Maric, General Manager of Atlas Copco Mining and Rock Excavation Technique Canada. It appears that even after moving 24 jobs to the Mississauga office, and outsourcing 15 welding jobs to a local company, the Sudbury location has actually enjoyed a net gain in jobs. Said Maric, “We had 168 jobs in Sudbury before, and we have 169 now. And the 15 welding jobs that we outsourced actually continued to work at their same benches, at their same workplace, after going to work for Bristol Machinery. Bristol now leases that space from us, and continues to be one of our biggest suppliers. About the only difference you would note today is a different color of coveralls!” The Sudbury location remains the main service center for all of Canada, as well as the sales and logistics hub for central Canada. It retains its re-manufacturing and core component re-building functions, and is expected to continue to grow. Atlas Copco’s three new service centers are located in Pasadena, N.L., Yellowknife, N.W.T. and Val D’Or, Que. ca.atlascopco.com
Published in Business
Calgary's Suncor Energy Inc. said this week it has pushed back "major dockside maintenance" for the Terra Nova offshore oil project's production vessel to next year. Suncor and its partners in Terra Nova, located in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, says the 15-week dockside maintenance program originally planned for Terra Nova in 2011 has been deferred until 2012. The work was pushed back so that plans to resolve hydrogen sulphide issues may be implemented concurrently. Plans continue for Terra Nova to undergo a four-week annual maintenance outage beginning in September 2011, during which Suncor's share of production, including production from a new well completed in July 2011, is expected to be reduced by approximately 20,000 barrels a day for the duration. In May, Terra Nova produced about 41,000 barrels a day on average. Overall, Suncor says there are "reliability and operational efficiency initiatives that we expect will minimize unplanned maintenance in 2011." www.suncor.com
Published in Business
Nearly 60 percent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, while approximately 30 percent are prepared to spend the same year over year. That’s the finding of a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the leading international resource for manufacturing information and knowledge. The survey also showed that, at the same time, close to half of respondents cite “keeping production costs under control” and “improving workforce productivity” as their most pressing challenges. That means ongoing investment in new technology and processes is not only happening, but continues to play a key role as manufacturers rebound from the economic downtown of 2008-2009, said Nick Samain, event manager with SME, which is organizing the upcoming Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011 (CMTS 2011). Responding to the survey, organizers of CMTS 2011 — Canada’s leading manufacturing event, which takes place October 17 to 20, 2011, at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto — have announced an expanded show for this year, featuring live equipment demonstrations, a 600-exhibit trade show, an exclusive industry keynote, interactive panel discussions and industry-wide networking opportunities. “Our survey shows that there is optimism for the future, and as Canadian companies look for ways to increase efficiencies while keeping costs down, they rely on a venue like CMTS more than ever to help break through the massive clutter of information out there,” Samain said. “Manufacturers know they need to integrate the latest advances into their daily operations but the challenge is always how to go about doing so,” he explained. “At CMTS 2011, they can see, hear and touch the range of potential solutions all under one roof.” When asked to name the most pressing challenges they face today, one-third of SME survey respondents pointed to either expanding into new markets, finding and retaining qualified personnel, or updating equipment and processes. Meanwhile, 22 percent reported difficulty keeping up with industry trends. Additional highlights of the survey include: 58 percent of respondents have increased their manufacturing equipment budgets this year while 29 percent have maintained the same budgets. 60 percent of those surveyed are exploring areas for diversification, with 62 percent planning to upgrade their machining and equipment as part of that strategy. Other areas earmarked for upgrading or diversification include design and engineering (45 percent), processing equipment (38 percent), quality (38 percent) and materials (35 percent). Just under 75 percent of respondents plan to invest in manufacturing equipment this year. Budgets range from $1 million and over (10.5 percent); $250,000 to $999,999 (16.3 percent); $50,000 to $249,999 (25.4 percent); and, under $50,000 (21.8 percent). Two-thirds of respondents noted that trade shows play a role in their purchasing strategies. 81.3 percent use trade shows to see equipment in action; 70.3 percent to learn about new applications; 72.5 percent to see new products; and, 52.7 percent to meet with technical staff.   “Faced with the current reality of a strong Canadian dollar, manufacturers need to find new ways to compete with their global counterparts,” Samain said. “There’s no better place to do that than at CMTS 2011.” www.cmts.ca
Published in Business
In a survey released by Kimberly-Clark Professional, 89 percent of safety professionals said they had observed workers not wearing safety equipment when they should have been. Twenty-nine percent said this had happened on numerous occasions.   “This high rate of noncompliance with PPE protocols presents a serious threat to worker health and safety,” said Gina Tsiropoulos, manufacturing segment marketing manager for Kimberly-Clark Professional. “While the reasons for noncompliance are varied, the threat to workers is clear-cut.  Without the proper use of PPE, they are at risk of serious injury or even death.” The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires the use of personal protective equipment to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective. Yet, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that of the workers who sustained a variety of on-the-job injuries, the vast majority were not wearing PPE.  It is therefore no surprise that 78 percent of respondents said workplace accidents and injuries were the concerns most likely to keep them up at night. Worker compliance with safety protocols was also cited as the top workplace safety issue. Twenty-eight percent of respondents chose this, while 21 percent selected “fewer workers.” “Insufficient management support for health and safety functions” and “meeting the safety needs of an aging workforce” tied at 18 percent.  Lack of funds to implement safety programs was last at 8 percent. Given the importance of PPE in ensuring worker safety, the survey examined the reasons for such high levels of noncompliance.  Of those respondents who observed PPE noncompliance in the workplace, 69 percent said the primary cause was workers thinking that PPE wasn’t needed. This was followed by: Uncomfortable  Too hot  Poor fit  Not available near work task  Unattractive looking     The Future of Workplace Safety What measures have safety managers taken or plan to take in the near future to encourage greater PPE compliance? The top strategies were: improving existing education and training programs (61 percent) and increased monitoring of employees (48 percent). These were followed by: Purchasing more comfortable PPE  Tying compliance to individual performance evaluations  Purchasing more stylish PPE  Developing incentive programs   Most Challenging PPE When it comes to compliance with PPE protocols, eye protection was found to be the “most challenging” PPE category, according to 24 percent of respondents. This was a disturbing though not unexpected finding considering that nearly three out of five workers who experienced eye injuries were found not to be wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job. Add to this the fact that that thousands of workers are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented and the magnitude of the problem becomes clear.  The next highest category for noncompliance was hearing protection (18 percent) — another disturbing finding since occupational noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable when proper measures are implemented. It was followed by respiratory protection/masks (17 percent), protective apparel (16 percent), gloves (14 percent), and head protection (4 percent). Potential Exposure to Heavy Metals Because some workplace hazards can’t be addressed by PPE, respondents were also asked about the potential health and safety issues posed by re-usable rental shop towels.  Ninety-one percent said they would be concerned if they found that oil, grease, heavy metal residues or other toxic elements were in their re-usable rental shop towels in levels that exceeded regulatory health-based exposure limits. Of these, 57 percent said they would be very concerned. Only 3 percent said they would not be very concerned and not a single respondent said they would not be concerned at all. Eighty-one percent of respondents indicated they were aware of the fact that industrial workers could transfer dangerous metals, like lead and cadmium, to their hands and clothes from rental shop towels and then potentially ingest them and/or bring these toxins home to their families, by correctly answering that this statement was true and not false. Forty-four percent said they knew that heavy metals could make their way into a facility’s operations via laundered rental shop towels from other companies’ manufacturing processes, while 36 percent did not.   “These findings are in keeping with the results of a new study that found elevated levels of heavy metals in tested laundered shop towels, which could result in worker exposures that exceed various health-based criteria,” Tsiropoulos said. “The study by Gradient, a nationally recognized environmental and risk science consulting firm, also found that workers may be exposed to metals that do not otherwise exist in their work environment because laundered towels are often delivered to different companies each time they are laundered for reuse.”      Environmental Concerns The survey also asked respondents to weigh in on environmental topics.  When questioned about wiping products and the environment, 55 percent said that laundered shop towels that pollute the water with toxic elements, such as oil, grease and heavy metal residues, had a greater environmental impact than disposable shop towels that are sent to landfill. As for what their organizations were doing to be more environmentally responsible, two choices stood out above all others: recycling more and reducing consumption of resources, such as water or energy. Asking vendors to demonstrate the environmental benefits of their products or services came in third.  www.kcprofessional.com
Published in News
Monday July 25, 2011

PBC33A aqueous parts washer

The Snap-on Aqueous Parts Washer (PBC33A) has a heated cleaning solution that works effectively by relieving surface tension of the grime, doing more of the work for you. It requires less maintenance as the specially formulated solution does not absorb oil and dirt, and its filtration system and internal oil skimmer captures contaminants, preserving the freshness of the cleaning solution. The biodegradable, non-toxic, water-based cleaning solution carries the Green Seal Certification mark and is certified by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. It is safer for your health and carries fewer VOC emissions. www.snapon.com/canada
Published in Tools
Monday July 25, 2011

P3 Series thermal imagers

Fluke Corp. introduces the P3 Series thermal imagers, which includes the Ti32 and TiR32 models, plus the new Ti27 and Ti29 models for industrial, electrical, mechanical and process applications; and TiR27 and TiR29 models for building inspection, energy audit and building maintenance applications. All models are designed to work in even the harshest environments and provide superior image quality with one-handed, easy-to-use interfaces. The new imagers feature a large total pixel image count (76,800 pixels for the Ti32/TiR32 models) and high spatial resolution that, combined with the 3.7-inch diagonal, full VGA-color LCD displays, provides clear images. www.flukecanada.ca
Published in Test & Measurement
Baldor is now responsible for selling and supporting the complete line of ABB low and medium voltage industrial electric motors and generators. This move by ABB allows Baldor to offer local customers the most complete line of NEMA and IEC motors to fit all global requirements, including motors that meet requirements for hazardous locations. The Baldor electrical sales force will also represent the ABB line of synchronous and induction generators used around the world in wind power, diesel, gas and steam power applications. www.baldor.com
Published in Power Transmission
The Burnaby, B.C.-based Canadian Network of Asset Managers (CNAM) has signed a formal partnership agreement with the U.K.-based Institute of Asset Management (IAM). The two associations share a mutual interest in the development of national and international best practices, competencies and qualifications for the practice of infrastructure asset management. “CNAM and the IAM are excited about the opportunities to leverage each other’s strengths for both short and long-term growth and to offer additional member value,” explains CNAM chair Steve Wyton, P.Eng, MBA. “CNAM wants to grow our knowledge base and promote asset management within Canada. We recognize that the IAM is also a leading asset management organization with similar interests and this agreement simply makes sense.” There are several short-term benefits to both parties. CNAM is a young association looking to continue growing its membership base by demonstrating additional value, whereas the IAM has many best practices already in place. On the other hand, the IAM has expressed interest in developing formal ties to an organization within Canada, whereas CNAM has developed a strong network of municipal asset management practitioners from across the nation, including a national workshop and practices targeted for municipalities. “In the longer term, the IAM and CNAM are looking forward to starting to formalize international practice standards, and qualifications which may be applied in the UK and Canada,” adds David McKeown, chief executive of IAM. CNAM is a non-profit association established in 2009 as a national leader in Canada for municipal infrastructure asset management. CNAM is a recognized source of knowledge, promotes innovation and collaboration, and provides a common voice to facilitate action. The IAM is a not for profit membership organisation located in the UK which exists to advance for the public benefit the science and practice of asset management. Its priorities are to promote and enable the generation and application of knowledge, training and good practice, and to help individuals become demonstrably competent. www.cnam.ca www.theIAM.org
Published in Business
Sifto Canada Corp., operator of a Goderich salt mine, was fined $140,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed while waiting for a maintenance person. In addition to an underground mine, Sifto's Goderich property contains large domes in which salt is stored before being loaded onto ships or railcars. There are open grates in the floors of the storage domes. These allow the salt to flow down onto conveyors leading to the loading area. On Aug. 25, 2009, a worker was using an excavator to move salt within a dome. The excavator broke down and a maintenance person was called for repairs. While waiting for the repair person, the worker exited the cab of the excavator and began clearing salt from the machine. At this time, the conveyor under the dome started moving and salt began falling through the grate in the floor of the dome. The worker was pulled through the grate with the moving salt and asphyxiated.  Sifto Canada Corp. pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the grate in the bottom of the dome was guarded to prevent a worker from being drawn in. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
Published in News
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