Eric Olson

Eric Olson is the Sales Manager of Ohio for Advanced Controls & Distribution.
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Recent Posts

Conducting a Risk Assessment: What You Need to Know To Get Started

Posted by Eric Olson on May 1, 2017 8:04:00 AM

Ever design a machine only to find out later that there wasn’t a risk assessment conducted? And, as a result, the design had to be modified due to safety requirements, adding additional cost, time and resources.

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Topics: Machine Safety, Safety

Building Machine Safety Control Systems with MTTFd

Posted by Eric Olson on Aug 31, 2016 8:42:39 AM

Picture this, you are driving down the road and you come upon a bridge.  What do you do?  Do you get out and inspect the girders before crossing over?  Of course not!  Why are you so confident that you can just drive over without any problem?  Because the designers, builders and inspectors have all taken the time to ensure that the bridge is safe. 

This is the same when discussing the construction of a building or even construction of industrial equipment.  One of the factors that comes into play is MTTFd (Mean Time To Dangerous Failure).  This refers to an average amount of time that it takes a safety control system to encounter a dangerous failure.

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Topics: Machine Safety

Industrial Safety Control Systems: Performance Level Categories

Posted by Eric Olson on Mar 30, 2016 3:34:18 PM

When I was a kid, I thought it would be cool to be an architect.  I enjoyed freehand drawing and design and later took up drafting, first by hand, then with AutoCAD.  I guess it was the artist in me that was the driving force and not some vision of fame and fortune. Why do I say that? Well, because when I heard it would take 6 years of schooling to become an architect and even then you are starting out at the “ground floor” so to speak, I decided it wasn’t for me. Call me lazy, un-driven, whatever, but the truth is it was a long path and I didn’t understand why it would be necessary.

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Topics: Safety

Manufacturing Safety: Performance Levels

Posted by Eric Olson on Jan 25, 2016 12:11:13 PM

ISO 13849-1 is the most important standard for regulating the basic principles and performance required of a safety control system for machines and devices.  This standard was greatly revised almost 10 years ago in November 2006.  The 2006 revision highlighted changes to the fundamentals of system design in manufacturing safety. A major update overhauled the use of Performance Levels when performing risk assessments of machine design and use. 

Performance Levels (PL) are not just extra boxes to check off on the paperwork, but make a difference in real-world safety when operators and designers work together.

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Topics: Machine Safety, Safety

STOP! Safety Switches Halt Risks

Posted by Eric Olson on Nov 24, 2015 9:19:55 AM



When you were a kid playing ball your parents probably had to yell this at least once when your ball (inevitably) went into the street.  Why was this so important?  Because your parents had your safety in mind, they didn’t want you to get hit by a car! 

20+ years later you are now working on or around machinery that may be just as dangerous as that busy street you grew up on. But your parents are not standing behind you just waiting to yell “Stop!” whenever they see a potential hazard approaching. So what do you do?


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Topics: Safety Devices & Software, Machine Safety, Safety

Safety Laser Scanners vs. Safety Mats – Which One Do I Choose?

Posted by Eric Olson on Aug 28, 2015 1:46:13 PM

For many decades safety mats have been used as a standard form of area protection in the plant environment. Though an old technology by design, safety mats have proven to be a tried and true means of protecting workers from harm.

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Topics: Safety Devices & Software, Machine Safety, Safety

Machine Safety Today: Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

Posted by Eric Olson on Feb 22, 2015 10:52:00 AM

Accidents happen!

The indirect costs of accidents are greater than the direct costs. According to the ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) for every $1 of direct accident costs, there are typically $4 in indirect costs. These indirect costs may include the following. . .

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Topics: Safety Devices & Software, Machine Safety

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