Monday, December 22, 2014

Essential PPE: Hard Hats

Because there are a myriad of potential hazards in the rigging and demolition industry, wearing the proper protective equipment is imperative to protecting worker safety. Head injuries, which can prove fatal or cause permanent impairment, are particularly dangerous, so one of the most important pieces of PPE in an R. Baker & Son crew member’s arsenal is the hard hat.

In general, protective headgear should always be worn in situations in which there is risk of falling or moving objects, fixed objects such as pipes or beams on which one might strike their head, and/or risk of accidental contact with electrical hazards. For construction, rigging, and demolition workers, these hazards are always present and hard hats should be worn at all times. At minimum, hard hats should be resistant to penetration, capable of absorbing the shock of a blow, water and burn resistant, and should display clear instructions for use.

There are three industrial classes for hard hats. Class A headgear provides impact and penetration resistance and electrical protection up to 2,200 volts. Class B is designed to provide maximum protection against electrical shock, up to 20,000 volts, as well as impact and penetration protection. Class C offers lightweight impact protection and does not protect against electric shock. R. Baker & Son workers typically wear Class B hard hats.

Hard hats require regular maintenance and daily inspection to ensure they meet or exceed safety regulations and standards. Headgear that is perforated, cracked, or otherwise deformed should be discarded and replaced, well as those that show loss of surface gloss, chalking, or flaking, which can indicate excessive exposure to heat or chemicals. Suspension systems that appear damaged or worn must be promptly replaced. Always replace a hard hat that sustains an impact, even if damage is not visible.

R.Baker & Son, All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Friday, December 5, 2014

R. Baker & Son in New Jersey: Utility Safety During Demolition

Demolition in New Jersey requires considerable planning when it comes to utilities. Before R. Baker & Son begins a project, multiple above-ground and below-ground utilities must be considered and identified, and may need to be shut off, disconnected, and/or relocated in order to perform demolition.

Prior to starting demolition, each utility company must be contacted. Local representatives or field engineers will be assigned to the project and may require submission of drawings, applications, and/or permits pertaining to the individual utilities. For example, electrical lines will need to be shut down, relocated, tested, and reenergized under the supervision of the electric company, who may also need to notify nearby customers of power interruptions. Similarly, water lines may require that valves be shut down and verified that they hold, and pressure taken off the line and locked out for worker safety. Gas lines may need to be shut down, pressure relieved and purged of all residual gas, and verified before work can commence.

Fiber optic cables and cable TV also require coordination with the utility companies. Fiber optic cables carry significant amount of data, and a severed line can affect service to thousands of commercial and residential customers. Damage to TV cables can cause outages for numerous customers as well.

Utility representatives will mark where underground utilities are located with paint and flags to prevent accidents and unnecessary interruptions. The most common method for locating utilities is using a tick tracer or sensitive metal detectors to locate piping or electrical lines. Though drawings and as-builts are valuable aids in locating utilities, it should be noted that there may be inaccuracies, and sometimes these drawings have been misplaced and can’t be located. Also, easements that give utilities a right of way to exist are often unmarked, and as NJ is the most densely populated state, there is an increased chance of accidental damage to utilities.

Lastly, when removing utilities during demolition, it is important to preserve all meters and return them to the utility company. For more information on utilities during demolition, please contact R. Baker & Son at 732-222-3553. 

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Phone: 732-222-3553