Monday, July 28, 2014

Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

Recycling is an important part of any R. Baker & Son demolition, dismantlement, decommissioning, or plant relocation project.  Among the materials that can be recycled are metal, concrete, brick, cardboard, mineral fiber panel, plastic, clean wood, glass, gypsum wallboard, carpet and insulation.  Waste that that may contain hazardous materials cannot be directly recycled and require proper handling and disposal.  Fluorescent bulbs are often carefully packaged and sent to a recycling facility during demolition projects, but what happens to them once they reach the recycling facility is a mystery to most people.

A fluorescent bulb can contain anywhere from 5 to 50 mg of mercury, which is highly toxic to the nervous system and kidneys.  Each year, an estimated 600 million bulbs go un-recycled and are instead sent to landfills or incinerators, resulting in the release of 30,000 pounds of mercury vapor into the environment. The EPA strongly recommends recycling spent bulbs, and many states have banned them from solid waste landfills. 

Upon arrival at a recycling plant, workers remove fluorescent bulbs from their packaging and feed them into specialized recycling equipment.  The machinery is fully-automated and -contained to prevent the release of hazardous mercury into the air. Mercury-containing phosphor power is separated from glass and metal by-products and collected into containers.  The contaminated powder is then retorted to extract and isolate the mercury.  In the end, all of the remaining materials – glass, metal end caps, powder, and mercury – can be recycled. 

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 nearly a dozen projects achieving OSHA VPP Star status).

R. Baker & Son

1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Qualified Riggers vs. Certified Riggers: What is the Difference?

The terms “qualified” and “certified” are often used interchangeably in the rigging industry, but many construction professionals don’t know the difference. OSHA standards require that qualified riggers must be used during hoisting activities for assembly and disassembly work, or when workers are within the fall zone and hooking, unhooking, or guiding a load, or connecting a load to a component or structure. However, OSHA does not require that riggers be “certified”.  So why is it important that a rigger is certified? What exactly do these terms mean?

Qualified Rigger

OSHA only loosely specifies who meets the criteria of a qualified rigger, leaving the final determination up to the employer. A qualified rigger “possesses a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, OR who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, can successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging loads”. Qualified riggers do not, however have to be certified by accredited organization or third party. Under these criteria, a rigger with extensive hands-on experience, but no formal training or certifications, may be considered a qualified rigger. 

Certified Rigger

A certified rigger is a person who has passed stringent written and practical exams related to rigging.  Accredited organizations such as NCCCO offer rigger certification testing, as well as many crane and rigging training schools. Most programs offer basic, intermediate, and advanced certifications.  Advanced-certified riggers generally have substantial rigging experience and have completed master rigger courses and training.

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services has been offering rigging and demolition services since 1936. Our impressive in-house team of rigging professionals, one of the best in the industry, is comprised of highly-experienced, qualified and intermediate-to-advanced-certified riggers, master riggers, and engineers, and our rigging equipment is state-of-the-art.  R. Baker & Son can handle industrial, pharmaceutical, and commercial rigging projects of nearly any size and complexity. 

Contact Information:

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