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Pinch Points

A pinch point is any point at which it is possible for a person or part of a person’s body to be caught between a stationary object and moving object or between moving parts or objects. A pinch point not only can cause injury to a limb or body part, but can cause a person to become trapped or pinched between the two objects.  An example of a pinch point that everyone can probably relate to is shutting your finger or hand in a door.

Body parts can become caught between moving parts, moving or stationary machine parts, moving parts and materials, between materials or equipment when moving them, slamming fingers or hands in doors, pinching fingers or hand with equipment that has sliding parts or hinges, machines such as presses and rollers,  and tools.  Pinch points commonly impact the fingers or hands, but can include any area of the body.  Injuries resulting from pinch points can be minor, such as contusions or blisters, or more serious, such as amputation or even death.

Common causes of injuries from pinch points include:

  • Not keeping your eyes on the task at hand or not paying attention.
  • Working or walking in areas with mobile equipment and fixed structures.
  • Using tools for purposes other than their intended use.
  • Placing body parts into moving equipment or machinery.
  • Improper handling of materials or suspended loads.
  • Defective equipment or not using guards.
  • Loose clothing, hair or jewelry getting caught in rotating parts or equipment.

Protective Measures include:

  • Verify all guards are in place and effective.
  • Identify all potential pinch points before starting work.
  • Always make sure mobile equipment operators know you are in the area.  Never put yourself in a position between mobile equipment and a stationary object.
  • When performing lockout tagout verify the equipment is deengergized before starting work.
  • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the task you are performing.  Always know where your body parts are.
  • Review operating manuals and work procedures before starting work, these may identify potential pinch points.
  • Heavy duty gloves may help protect against certain types of pinch points.

Electrical Safety

Electricity is something we use on an everyday basis. It is something we cannot see, but must respect, since it can become very dangerous if not handled properly.  Even exposure to low voltages can cause severe injury or even death.Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Safety rules to follow when working with electrical equipment:

  • Inspect equipment before use to ensure it is in good working order.  If the equipment is defective remove from service, tag it out and report it to your supervisor immediately.  Inspect extension cords, power tools and equipment before each use for cuts, exposed wires, missing ground, etc.
  • Electrical equipment shall be grounded or double insulated in accordance with subpart K.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) shall be used at all times at the power source with electrical equipment and power tools.  They shall be inspected and tested before each use.
  • Extension cords shall not be run through doorways, walkways, windows or roads unless they are protected.
  • A minimum clearance of 10 ft must be maintained from any uninsulated overhead power line.  No work shall be conducted within 10 ft of an overhead power line unless the line has been de-energized and visibly grounded.
  • Never remove the ground prong or use power tools or extension cords with the ground prong missing.
  • Never overload electrical receptacles.
  • Only employees trained and authorized may repair electrical equipment.
  • Appropriate PPE shall be used when it is possible to come in contact with exposed electrical parts.  It shall be inspected before each use and if found defective removed from service.
  • Non-conductive head protection shall be worn if there is a chance of electrical burns or shock from contact with exposed energized parts.  Protective eye or face equipment shall be used if the employee is exposed to electrical arcs/flashes or from flying objects due to electricity.
  • All temporary lighting must have cage guards over them to prevent breakage of the bulbs and shall be hung by its insulator.  If a bulb is broken the power source must be disconnect and the bulb replace immediately.
  • Remember even low voltages can cause severe injury or even death.
  • Never mix electricity and water.
  • All temporary power panels shall have covers.
  • Do not use electrical cords for hoisting or lowing power tools, materials or equipment.
  • If work must be done on equipment, the equipment must be deenergized and locked and tagged out.  The equipment must be verified to be deenergized before work begins.  If equipment is locked or tagged out no employee shall attempt to operate the machinery.

Heat Stress and Related Illnesses

ToolboxTalkDuring increased temperatures, it is important to know what you can do to reduce the risk of a heat related illness and what to do if one of these types of situations occur.  Heat related illnesses are progressive conditions caused by overexposure to heat.  If they are recognized in the early stages they can usually be reversed.  If they are not caught early they may progress to life threatening conditions.

Measures to Prevent Heat Stress

  • Engineering controls include general ventilation, personal cooling devices or protective clothing.
  • Work practice controls include drinking plenty of water.  It is recommended that you drink one glass of water (8 ounces) every 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the heat and humidity.
  • Alternating work and rest periods with more rest periods in cool areas can help workers avoid heat stress.  If possible heavy work should be scheduled during the cooler part of the day.
  • Acclimatization to the heat through short exposures followed by longer periods of work in the hot environment can reduce heat stress.
  • Read medication labels to know how they cause the body to react to the sun and heat.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they can increase the effects of heat.
  • Employees shall be educated so they are aware of the need to replace fluids and salt lost through sweat and can recognize dehydration, exhaustion, fainting, heat cramps, salt deficiency, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Types of Heat Illness

Heat Cramps: Severe muscle spasms that often begin suddenly in the hands, calves or feet.  Painful and disabling.  The muscles become hard, tense and difficult to relax.  They are caused by salt depletion as sweat losses are replaced by water alone.  Heat cramps result from over exertion and heavy sweating.

Heat Exhaustion: Causes excessive fluid loss from heavy sweating, leading to increased fatigue, weakness, anxiety, drenching sweats, low blood pressure, faintness and sometimes collapse.  Heat exhaustion results from prolonged exposure to extreme heat for many hours.  The over heating is due to the electrolytic fluid loss that reduces blood volume, which lowers blood pressure and the pulse.

Heat Stroke: A life threatening condition caused by over exertion and over exposure to extreme heat environments.  Heat stroke is imminent when the core body temperature approaches 106 F.  Any higher may result in coma or even death.  The symptoms are dizziness, weakness, emotional instability, nausea/vomiting, confusion, delirium, blurred vision, convulsions, collapse and unconsciousness.  The skin is flushed, hot to the touch, and at first may be covered with sweat that soon dries.  Be aware of these warning signs.

First Aid Measures

Heat Stroke: Move the victim to a cool place.  Remove heavy clothing; light clothing can be left in place.

Immediately cool the victim by any available means.  This can be accomplished by placing ice packs at areas with abundant blood supply (neck, armpits, and groin).  Wet towels or sheets are also effective.  The cloths should be kept wet with cool water.  Continue to cool the victim until their temperature drops to 102 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent hyperthermia.  Keep the victim’s head and shoulders slightly elevated.  Seek medical attention immediately.  All heat stroke victims need hospitalization.  Care for seizures if they occur.  Do not use aspirin or acetaminophen.

Heat exhaustion:  Move the victim to a cool place.  Keep the victim lying down with legs straight and elevated 8 to 12 inches.  Cool the victim by applying cold packs or wet towels or cloths.  Fan the victim.

Give the victim cold water if he or she is fully conscious.  If no improvement is noted within 30 minutes, seek medical attention.

If any employee goes home due to what may be a heat related illness or is displaying symptoms of a heat related illness, notify the Safety Department immediately.

AEP Rockport Project

AEP RockportGribbins Fills Tall Order in Rockport

Standing 1,038 feet high, the central smokestack at the American Electric Power (AEP) Rockport generating station is not only the tallest in Indiana, it’s also among the world’s tallest. The Spencer County generating station is the site of a current project led by Evansville Project Manager, Aubrey Forrester.

Scope and Timeline of Project

Forrester, along with key field employees, Carl Honeycutt and Demetrious Tinsley, are leading their Gribbins team in the removal and replacement of insulation and lagging on 42” diameter high energy piping and the associated fittings. The duration of the AEP Rockport undertaking runs March 10, 2017 through June 4, 2017.

Safety: Above All at Gribbins

In keeping with the Gribbins commitment to safety, Forrester notes the crew members are required to wear half mask respirators, hard hats, safety glasses, steel toe boots, and safety harnesses. As far as the rewards experienced, Aubrey Forrester succinctly states these positives: “Completing the project safely, under budget, and installing quality work.”

Memphis VA Hospital Project

It’s an Honor Serving the Memphis VA Hospital

Calvert City Project Manager, Billy Everette, recently discussed a 4-month project that began April 10, 2017 at a VA Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The scope of the current project is sizable: re-insulation of approximately 30,000 feet of piping removed due to moisture and mold issues. In addition to Everette, the undertaking involves key field employees, Jim Spivey and Kenneth Spivey.

 

Safety: Always a Priority with Gribbins

Everette reports all employees involved with the project were required to undergo testing for TB. In addition, a site safety plan was established for workspace constraints and heat exposure. While ensuring workplace safety is always a priority, the Gribbins team members also strategically and successfully overcome the challenges associated with working in a hospital setting. Everette describes specific complexities, including “Tracking and maintaining material quantities and production quantities on a large scale in a tight work space. Maneuvering materials and workforce to get the project completed with the least amount of disturbance to the VA’s day-to-day operations.”

What a Gribbins Professional Finds Personally Rewarding

While reflecting on how the project touches him personally, Billy Everette shares, “It’s a large project that has a lot of pieces that I can put together to have a successful project, and the result is that I can help make a difference in bettering the safety and health of our country’s wounded veterans.” When asked if there’s anything he’d like to add, Everette replies, “Just a shout out to Semper Tek www.sempertekinc.com for allowing us to be a part of this project. Semper Tek is a Disabled Veteran Owned Company.”

President’s Message

Welcome Joy Veatch, Assistant Controller

Posted: 03/06/17 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

We welcome Ms. Veatch to the Gribbins Insulation team.

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Open Position: Payroll Administrator

Posted: 03/03/17 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Apply at ZipRecruiter. Link in post.

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Toolbox Talk

Pinch Points

Posted: 05/22/17 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

A pinch point is any point at which it is possible for a person or part of a person’s body to be caught between a stationary object and moving object or between moving parts or objects.

Read Full Article

Electrical Safety

Posted: 05/15/17 By: Trevor Atherton, Safety Mgr

Electricity can become very dangerous if not handled properly. Follow these rules to stay safe!

Read Full Article