Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NYCs Busy Kosciuszko Bridge to be Imploded Summer 2017

The 78 year-old Kosciuszko Bridge connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Maspeth, Queens is being replaced with two new spans slated for completion in 2020. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last month that part of the span will be imploded in order to expedite the demolition portion of the project.

The Kosciuszko Bridge was designed to carry about 10,000 vehicles a day when it first opened in 1939. Today an estimated 185,000 vehicles use the bridge daily. The old truss bridge will be replaced by two new cable-stayed spans, one in each direction. All traffic will be diverted in April 2017 from the old bridge to the future eastbound span, the first the two spans to be completed. The second span will open in 2020 to westbound traffic.

Demolition of old truss the bridge will take place in two phases. In April or May, the 2,400-ton center section will be cut and rigged over the course of 48 hours onto two barges in the Newtown Creek. The two remaining sections, which total about three-quarters of a mile, will be demolished this summer by implosion, which will speed up the project by seven to nine months, according to Gov. Cuomo.

The announcement that explosives would be used for demolition set off contamination concerns among local residents, but state officials say that demolition contractors are taking all necessary precautions to prevent the release of hazardous particles into the already-polluted environment. The implosion is expected to draw a large crowd, with the Queens Chamber of Commerce holding an event in celebration of the demolition of the bridge.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746

732-222-3553

Friday, March 17, 2017

Foul Weather Rigging

Adverse weather conditions can make or break a rigging operation. Wind, rain, snow, cold weather, fog, and lightning can all have a detrimental effect on crane and rigging operations and should be taken into thorough consideration on every lift. 
Wind
All cranes have a maximum wind speed at which rigging operations can take place, and most manufacturers provide guidelines for their equipment. If this information is not available, rigging should not place if winds are near or above 20 mph. Load dimensions and wind direction are important to take into consideration as well. 
Cold
Rigging in cold weather has limitations, as low temperatures can affect crane components such as hydraulics and rigging equipment, and can even reduce tensile strength of the crane if temperatures are extremely cold. Load weights should be reduced depending on temperatures, and rigging should suspended altogether in extreme subzero conditions. Cranes regularly operated in cold climates can be outfitted with special parts, finishes and systems to guard against failure.  
Lightning
A crane boom can become a lightning rod in extreme weather conditions, so rigging activities should be suspended if lightning develops. Booms should be lowered and/or retracted to a safe position and rigging personnel should vacate the area. Cranes that are struck by lightning must be thoroughly inspected before returning to service. 
Rain
Water can infiltrate crane components including brakes clutches during heavy rain, particularly when it is wind-driven, so rigging activities should be suspended under these conditions. Heavy rains can undermine foundations, as well. 
R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/rigging-services.php

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What is Critical Lift?

In the crane and rigging industry, a critical lift is a rigging activity in which a comprehensive plan is necessary to minimize risk of crane failure or catastrophic loss. As for the term “critical lift”, though there is no universally-accepted single definition or industry standard used for categorization, there are a number of items that are common to various agencies and rigging industry associations. OSHA characterizes the definition thusly: a critical lift is one that a) exceeds 75% of the rated capacity of the crane or derrick, or b) requires the use of more than one crane or derrick. Various other government agencies and industry associations such as NIOSH, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Energy use their own criteria to classify a critical lift that will require development of a critical lift plan.  Following are some of the most commonly-appearing elements of a critical lift (keeping in mind that specific projects have unique conditions that should be taken into consideration):
  • Any lift that requires more than one crane 
  • Loads exceeding 75% of a crane’s rated capacity
  • Lifting of personnel
  • Load suspension above rigging personnel
  • Loads not in view of the crane operator
  • Loads of exceptional value
  • Loads that have the potential for becoming unstable during rigging
If it is determined that a lift is to be considered critical, a detailed critical lift plan must be prepared. Following an analysis by qualified rigging personnel, a critical lift plan should include details such as size and weight of the load, equipment needed, boom length and angle, crane and boom positioning, required personnel, crane capacity, sequencing, and environmental conditions, among others.  The critical lift plan should be thoroughly reviewed with the rigging crew prior to the lift to ensure that all necessary details and required safety procedures are in place.

R. Baker & Son, a leading rigging contractor since 1936, has conducted countless critical lifts for a vast array of clients in a variety of industries throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. We are staffed by experienced master riggers, engineers, and skilled rigging tradespersons and equipped with all of the necessary equipment to handle even the most complex rigging projects with the highest safety standards.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rigging Near Overhead Powerlines

Crane operation near overhead power lines is one of the most dangerous jobs a rigging crew can undertake. In fact, electrocution is the number one cause of crane-related fatalities, making compliance with OSHA standards and guidelines absolutely crucial when working in close proximity to overhead power lines.
Before equipment is brought to a jobsite near overhead power lines, a 360-degree hazard assessment inside the work zone must be completed. If it is determined that a crane could exceed minimum required distances, further action is required by the contractor. The first option is to coordinate with the power company to have the lines de-energized and visibly grounded. Line owners will sometimes opt to move the lines so that minimum clearance distance can be achieved. Both options require some preplanning as it may take some time to complete the necessary work.
OSHA requirements for working near overhead power lines that are not de-energized are clear cut. For power lines 50 kV or less, all parts of the crane, boom, rigging equipment, and loads carried must be kept at least 10 ft. away. This distance increases to 20 ft. for lines rated 50 kV to 350 kV, and 50 ft. for lines over 350 kV. If the voltage cannot be determined, cranes and rigging equipment must be kept at least 45 ft. away. A planning meeting with the crane operator and riggers must be conducted to review the location of the power lines and implement a rigging plan to prevent encroachment. All tag lines used must be non-conductive to prevent electrocution. An elevated warning line, barricade or line of electrocution hazard warning signs equipped with high-visibility flags must be erected 20 ft. from the power line in view of the crane operator. In addition, the rigging contractor must utilize at least one of the following: a dedicated spotter, proximity alarm, range control device, range of motion limiting device, and/or insulating link.
Crane operators and rigging crew members should be trained to work safely near overhead power lines and how to react if safety measures fail and contact is made. Dedicated spotters have the important responsibility to ensure that the minimum distance is not breach and thus must receive special training.
R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Weekend Rigging - Months in the Works

A large rigging project can be an immense undertaking. While the lift itself may only take a day or two, it is the culmination of weeks or even months of intense preparation and planning.

Large rigging projects are almost always done over a weekend during daylight hours. Early on, the rigging team must sit down with the client and other involved parties to first choose a date for the lift that leaves sufficient time to receive the equipment and/or materials to be rigged and to secure all of the necessary permits from local, county and state authorities. A permit may be required by the FAA depending on the project’s proximity to an airport, and many towns require local police be notified. Early project planning also includes visits from the firm’s crane engineer and rigging team to assess the jobsite and project details. The gathered information will be used to determine the size, type and reach of the crane and where it will be positioned, as well the quantity, weight and dimensions of each piece to be lifted. The rigging plan should include strict measures to avoid all electrical lines and other obstacles that may endanger or interfere with the project, as well as travel paths for each load.

With safety as the top priority of every lift, rigging team members conduct multiple meetings with job safety and security personnel in preparation for the lift. Work areas must be cordoned off, streets and parking areas barricaded, and police or security personnel may be needed to direct traffic. 

Delivery logistics for the crane and the equipment to be lifted can be quite challenging in and of itself. On a project R. Baker & Son recently completed, for example, the crane and its various parts were shipped to the jobsite on twenty separate flatbed tractor trailers. Crane assembly (which required the services of a second crane) took an entire day, and the air handler sections slated for installation on a third-story roof arrived on five additional tractor trailers. These loads, as on all projects, had to be marked, staged in order, and readied before the day of the lift. 

When the day finally arrives, the crane operator and all rigging personnel must be in position bright and early for work to commence – weather permitting. Foul weather – high winds in particular – can be a cause for postponement until the next day or two. If the weather is good, all of the extensive preparation should result in a safe, smooth, and successful project. 

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dismantling Clean and Green

Dismantling projects pose distinctly different sets of challenges depending on the industry. On pharmaceuticals projects, biological and chemical contaminants must be eliminated before dismantling can begin.

Pharmaceutical plants contain a variety of areas and equipment that may contain hazardous substances, growths, or residues. Epoxy countertops, sinks, fume hoods, biosafety cabinets, autoclaves, etc., can be found in laboratories. Process suites, which can differ widely depending on their function, may contain process piping, tanks, isolators, lyophilizers, downflow booths, and various others. Plant owners, contractors, process managers, industrial hygienists, and environment service providers must work together to identify areas and items that require cleaning and/or decontamination.

Once familiarized with the facility and its processes, the industrial hygienist will conduct thorough testing for contaminants and prescribe the precise decontamination process that must occur. This is done not only to ensure environmental and worker safety, but also to ready fixtures and equipment for reuse or resale. Decontaminated areas are then retested by the industrial hygienist and verified ready for dismantlement. Because work scope can sometimes change as a project progresses, continued teamwork among plant owners, industrial hygienists, and project contractors is essential to ensuring that newly identified problem areas are promptly tested and remediated before dismantlement.

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, as a multifaceted contractor whose specialties include both dismantling and environment services, can perform both the remediation of the facility as well as the dismantlement. Our dismantlement services include: decommissioning of equipment, rigging and match marking, machinery moving and transportation, plant relocation, reinstallation and millwright services, and asset recovery, and equipment resale. Environmental services include: surface cleaning, pipeline cleaning and pigging, column and vessel cleaning, tank cleaning, line flushing and first line breaks, HVAC and duct cleaning, non-ACM insulation removal, HEPA vacuum services, and power washing and steam cleaning of pipes and equipment.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hydraulics: The Force Behind Rigging & Demolition

Hydraulics is the workhorse of modern rigging and demolition, providing the muscles that lift, steer and drive the cranes, excavators, breakers, and hammers used each day. But hydraulics is not a recent innovation. In fact, examples of hydraulic power go back more than 2,000 years to ancient Rome, where it was used in water clocks, water wheels and pumping systems.  In  the  17th  century,  French  mathematician  Blaise  Pascal  made the groundbreaking discovery that serves as the basis for  the  science  of  hydraulics.

Pascal’s  principle  states  that  when pressure is exerted at any point to a confined, incompressible  fluid,  there  is  an  equal  increase  in pressure  at  every other point in the container. Thus, when one piston in a simple hydraulic system is pushed down, the other piston is pushed  up.  Applied  to  a  more  complex  hydraulic  system,  Pascal’s principle allows forces to be multiplied. If a second piston has an area ten times that of the first, the force on the second piston is ten times greater, because the pressure is equally distributed on the larger piston’s entire surface area. The larger the surface of the second piston is in relation to the first, the greater the mechanical advantage.

Hydraulics  have  been  used  in  rigging  and  demolition  since  the  mid-19th  century,  when  cranes  powered  by  water  were  used to load coal onto barges. Nowadays, oil is the fluid most commonly  used  in  hydraulic  equipment.  On  any  given  day,  hydraulic equipment is present throughout R. Baker rigging and demolition projects, powering crane booms, telescoping sections,  and  outriggers,  excavator  steering,  booms  and  attachments, and on loaders, dump trucks, lulls, and hydrauic hammers. Wherever strength and force is required in our industry, hydraulics are overwhelmingly the power of choice.
 
About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com