Saturday, August 19, 2017

Coming to a Demolition Site Near You: ZeroG Tool Arm

Ekso Bionics is among several pioneering firms that have developed ergonomic tool arms and bionic exoskeleton devices that can be used to maneuver heavy tools as if weightless in a variety of industries.

The Ekso ZeroG tool arm was specially developed for the construction field to help alleviate worker fatigue by employing adjustable springs to offset the weight of heavy tools such as chipping hammers, demolition hammers, rivet busters, impact wrenches, grinders, and rotary hammers (tools that are used on R. Baker & Son demolition projects on a daily basis). The ZeroG is designed to connect to scaffolding, aerial lifts, and other existing work platforms. A universal strap attachment can accommodate tools of various shapes, sizes, and weights in a variety of applications.  By bearing the weight of the tools, the ZeroG relieves worker stress and strain, reduces fatigue and injury, and increases productivity and efficiency.

Pricing of exoskeleton technology, once prohibitively high, has been dropping over the past several years, so the devices are increasingly being seen in use on construction and demolition sites. Ekso ZeroG tool arms are now available for rental in the New York/New Jersey area from United Rentals. R. Baker & Son hasn’t yet tested the Ekso ZeroG on one of our demolition projects, but we expect to try it out in the very near future.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services 

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  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://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php 

*photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Demolition

R. Baker and Son recently performed selective demolition at a renovation project at a pharmaceutical plant. One of the Baker Team’s challenges was to make way for new laboratory exhaust ductwork without cutting through or damaging utilities hidden within foot-thick concrete walls, floors, and ceilings or compromising structural integrity. As-built drawings are can often be inaccurate, especially in older buildings, so R. Baker & Son turned to ground-penetrating radar, or GPR, to reveal what was hidden in the concrete.

GPR is a subsurface scanning method that emits high-frequency radio pulses into concrete or ground surface. When the radar waves encounter a buried object, they bounce back and are captured by a receiver that that processes and interprets the data and displays real-time screen images. GPR used in construction and demolition can reveal rebar, mesh, conduits, post-tension cable, and voids. An effective alternative to GPR is X-ray, which provides a far more accurate image than GPR but comes back with a number of significant drawbacks.  X-ray requires access to both sides of a slab or wall, is slower and more expensive than GPR, and generates harmful radiation that requires special precautions and procedures.

On this particular demolition project, R. Baker and Son opted for ground-penetrating radar over X-ray due to budget and scheduling constraints. A GPR specialist was brought in to identify and mark out areas where there was little to no concealed electrical conduit and rebar before Baker crew members could proceed with cutting and drilling through concrete. In areas where it was impossible to avoid cutting conduit, GPR allowed the crew members to carefully chip away the concrete to expose the conduit and trace it back to its origin, where it was safely locked- and tagged-out. Other project work included selective demolition of lab casework, existing ductwork, and lighting.

About R. Baker and Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker and Son All Industrial Services, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)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 and 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 and Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/selective-demolition.php

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Environmental Cleanup

A lot of people may not associate demolition and rigging with environmental cleanup, but contractors like R. Baker & Son play a big part on many fronts. Rigging and demolition contractors remove abandoned vehicles, engines, tires, equipment, and other various large debris from the sides of roadways and bridges in areas that are hard to reach by tow truck. Cranes and cargo nets are often needed to hoist illegally-dumped from steep hillsides, drop-offs, cliffs and riverbanks, and in some instances, bobcats and other equipment must be lowered by crane to move debris to a central point for rigging.  R. Baker & Son is often involved in such cleanups, particularly after Superstorm Sandy struck the New York and New Jersey coast, but this is a problem that affects all fifty states.

Rigging and demolition contractors are usually hired to perform environmental cleanup by private enterprises or by local, state or federal government, but many donate services to volunteer programs like Adopt-A-Highway, Boy Scouts, churches, and other organizations. Carting companies get involved as well to properly dispose of metal, concrete, and other trash.  Safety is imperative, so it is important that trained rigging and demo personnel take charge to keep volunteers safe and ensure they are not injured during demolition, crane and rigging-related activities.

About R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  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://rbaker.com/environmental.php

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dust, Noise, Vibration and Odor

R. Baker & Son worked closely with the owner of a large three-story building during a recent interior demolition project to develop a dust, noise and vibration schedule. Occupied office buildings surrounded the structure, so noisy activities like pneumatic hammering and use of heavy equipment was limited to a three-hour span from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., followed by cleanup and low-noise tasks between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Dust was controlled by water misting and exhaust fan particle filtering to keep the space negative, preventing infiltration to other areas.

One of the client’s biggest concerns was preventing odor from permeating a nearby building with 100% outside air intakes that shared a courtyard space with the building being demolished. After some brainstorming, the Baker team addressed the issue by purchasing and installing ¾-inch thick rolled pre-activated carbon filter media on the intakes to capture particulates and absorb odor.  The filtration was checked daily and replaced on a weekly basis during demolition and cleanup phases. The client was duly impressed with the care and ingenuity applied to their project. “Every project has specific challenges”, says R. Baker & Son owner David Baker, “and providing solutions for those challenges is where customers find value.”

About R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)   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://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Demolition by Implosion

Demolition by implosion, in which explosives are used to make a building collapse down into its footprint, can be an impressive sight to see. Huge buildings, arenas, bridges and other structures that took years to build can be taken down in a matter of seconds with explosives that are strategically placed and timed to undermine supports. 
Implosion of tall buildings and landmark structures throughout the world are often highly-publicized spectator events, with hundreds or even thousands of people in attendance. Most demolition implosions are scheduled for Sunday mornings when area activity is at a minimum. Media outlets and photographers perch on ideal viewing spots, and remote cameras are set up to capture close-up views of demolition. Bright banners and advertisements are often hung on the building slated to be demolished. 

Cordoned-off viewing areas have food trucks, vendors and musical entertainment for the enjoyment of the spectators, and toy detonators are handed out to children. Speeches often precede the main event talking about the building’s history and the preparations that went into preparing for the implosion. The crowd is sometimes treated with a fireworks display, some in the sky above the demolition site, others emanating from the doomed structure itself. 

As the scheduled implosion time approaches, the demolition crew performs a final check and the countdown begins. At zero, children press their plungers, setting off (in their minds) the spectacular sequence of explosions that cause the building to neatly collapse in on itself in a cloud of dust, and awed spectators cheer and applaud the remarkable show. 

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  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://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

IRAs Seven Rs for Asset Recovery

R. Baker & Son is a member of the Investment Recovery Association (IRA), the premier resource for companies and individuals engaged in the management and recovery of surplus and idle assets. The IRA has compiled the “Seven R’s Every IR Professional Should Know” to simplify options for disposition in order to realize higher revenue and preserve the environment.
Reuse – Assets that are reused within an organization offer the best ROI by reducing capital, depreciation, taxes, and insurance costs.
Recycle – Keeping waste out of landfills saves disposal costs, generates income, and preserves resources. Recyclable materials generated by demolition and dismantling include metal, brick, concrete, cardboard, gypsum wallboard, plastic, wood, glass, carpet and insulation.
Recondition – Many recovered assets can be recovered and put back into service as an alternative to purchasing new. R. Baker & Son provides equipment and machinery moving services and can expertly disconnect, disassemble, package and ship for offsite repairs and modifications.
Resell – As an active member of the Investment Recovery Association, R. Baker & Son networks with fellow members that include the majority of Fortune 500 companies in virtually every industry. Access to this large and diverse field enables us to effectively market recovered assets to reduce losses and increase income for our clients.
Reclaim – R. Baker & Son safely and routinely reclaims solvents, chemicals, lubricants, refrigerants, hydraulic fluid, glycols, etc., during demolition and dismantling projects, and many of these substances can be reused to reduce waste and preserve the environment.
Return – Equipment, parts, materials and supplies recovered from dismantling, relocation and demolition projects can often re returned to the manufacturer or vendor for cash or future credit.
Remove – The simple act of removal of excess or idle assets lowers the tax base and increases returns on capital.
R. Baker & Son is an industry leader in rigging, demolition, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and machinery moving, environmental services, transportation, and investment/asset recovery. Recovered assets can be stored, prepared, crated, packed, and shipped throughout the world from our expansive outdoor and indoor climate-controlled warehouse facility in central New Jersey.
R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://www.rbaker.com



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fortune 100 Selective Demolition

R. Baker & Son was recently challenged with performing selective demolition of a large building that housed a critical data center. The renovation project for a New Jersey-based Fortune 100 Company, which was to include new open-office spaces, conference rooms, huddle rooms, and pantry areas, came with the strict stipulation that there could be no interruption in operations during the demolition phase. With a main MDF room, multiple IDF closets, and two computer rooms located on different floors and nearly three decades worth of wire and cable running throughout the facility, part of the Baker Team’s challenge was to earn the confidence of an anxious and exacting project engineer whose job it was to keep systems up and running while overseeing the project.

Multiple walk-throughs with the IT team and two technicians were conducted as demolition progressed to identify what was should be removed and, more importantly, what had to stay to support the operation. Walls and ceilings were opened up to reveal miles and miles of live single- and multi-mode fiber cable, copper communication wire, and CAT 5 data cable running through innerduct alongside dead wires and cables that had been disconnected years ago, requiring painstaking teamwork to figure out what was what. Active cable was neatly bundled and marked to stay with color-coded ribbons while old, dead cable was carefully marked and removed. Simultaneously, a team of electricians worked on regular power distribution, UPS power, and emergency power that ran throughout the facility, marking critical feeders and circuits with red spray paint while marking others slated for demolition with black.

This preliminary infrastructure phase culminated with two weekend shutdowns during which R. Baker & Son coordinated closely with electricians and the IT group to remove several electrical panels and swap electrical loads over to new panels and to run new wires and cables in floor openings. The shutdowns were successfully completed with scarcely a hitch, to the great delight and relief of the ever-worried project engineer. From there, the Baker Team moved on to the careful demolition of walls, ceilings and other structural elements in preparation for the renovation.

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

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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