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Archive for April, 2017

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, led their Gribbins team in the removal and replacement of insulation and lagging on 42” diameter high energy piping and the associated fittings from March through early June 2017.  The Gribbins crew continues to work on the AEP Rockport site for ongoing maintenance needs.

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

Memphis VA Hospital Insulation 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.”

Emergency Action Plan

ToolboxTalkAn EAP is a written document required by OSHA.  The purpose of this document is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during work pace emergencies.  These plans inform employees on what to do and where to go in case of severe weather, fire, earthquake, or other catastrophes.  When reporting to a new jobsite, each employee should be made aware of the EAP for that site.  When working on large sites employees shall review the EAP each day to ensure they have know the proper evacuation route and assembly area for their location.

An EAP should include:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies.  This can include procedures for reporting emergencies such as dialing 911, or an internal emergency number, or pulling a manual fire alarm.
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments.  These are to inform employees who is authorized to order an evacuation, under what conditions and evacuation would be necessary, how to evacuate, and what routes to take.  Maps should be used to identify the escape routes to be followed by employees from each specific facility location.  These procedures can also include actions to be taken before or while evacuating such as shutting windows, turning off equipment or closing doors behind them.
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
  • Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed.  This might include procedures for designated employees to sweep areas, check offices and rest rooms, before being the last to leave a workplace or conducting a roll call in the assembly area.
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
  • Names and job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees to evacuate and/or take other actions.  The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blast, sirens, or public address systems.

Hazard Recognition – Part 1

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

There are many things that we do each day before work begins – we receive our job task, gather tools and equipment and move to our work area.  But another important thing each of us should do is to look at all the hazards in our work environment before beginning our task.  You should continue to evaluate the job throughout the day for hazards that may have changed or occurred during the course of the day.  Hazards should be corrected or eliminated before proceeding with the task at hand.  If you cannot correct the hazard yourself, contact your foreman or the safety department.

A hazard is defined as a chance, a chance of being injured or harmed or a possible source of danger.  Jobsites are filled with many different hazards whether it be the task you are performing, task others are performing around you, equipment, chemicals, heat sources or weather conditions.  Hazards should be recognized and eliminated through engineering controls, administrative controls or personal protective equipment.

The following is a list of some of the hazards that are frequently encountered on jobsites include.  This list does not cover all the hazards, but ones that we face on an everyday basis.

Material Handling and Storage – Manual handling hazards include improper lifting and carry techniques, carrying too much weight, incorrect gripping or lacerations.  Mechanical handling hazards include untrained forklift operators, uninspected equipment or congested areas.  Storage of material hazards include materials staked too high, unsecured materials that could become airborne or fall and storage in walkways or doorways.

Machine guarding – Hazards in this category include improper or missing guards around rotating or reciprocated equipment and guards on tools.  An example of this would be guards on grinders.

Slips/Trips/Falls – Hazards to look for include slippery surfaces, poor housekeeping, extension cords or other debris laying in walkways, inadequately barricaded or covered holes, stairs or uneven surfaces.

Scaffolds – Hazards include slippery surfaces, unsafe access, uncompleted scaffold, uninspected scaffold, employees modifying scaffolding without the direction of a competent person, falls, struck by falling objects, electrocutions, scaffold collapse or wheels not being locked on rolling scaffolds.

Aerial Lifts – Hazards include untrained employees, defective equipment, electrocution from overhead power lines, tip over hazards, not using 100% fall protection, not closing gates or chains, poor housekeeping on jobsite or in lift, collision hazards, explosion and fire hazards, inadequate floor support, overhead hazards, drop offs, holes or bumps, strong or gusty winds or using other devices to elevate yourself from the platform.

Ladders – Ladders are one of the most common tools used, but can also be one of the most dangerous if not used correctly.  Hazards in this category include uninspected ladders, ladders used on unstable or unlevel surfaces, slippery hand, rungs or shoes, using a step ladder as a straight ladder, using the top step or top of the ladder, not maintaining 3 points of contact or using the incorrect type or size of ladder.

Elevated Heights – Hazards exist not only where employees are subject to a fall of 6 feet or greater, but if a fall to a lower level or a piece of equipment below could occur.  Fall protection or prevention should be used when needed.  To eliminate these hazards always maintain 100% fall protection, inspect equipment before use, use anchor points capable of withstanding 5000 pounds, tie off points should be determined to ensure that your fall arrest equipment would stop you before you come into contact with lower levels or equipment, if you are using a 6 ft. shock absorbing lanyard you will need to tie off at least 19 feet above you to arrest the fall before striking the ground.  Also, look for hazards where if a fall occurred you could be propelled over a hand rail.

Tools / Power Tools – Hazards in this category include untrained employees, laceration, flying debris, electrical shock, unguarded equipment, not following the manufacture’s recommendation, using tool for unintended use, unsecured tools when working at elevated heights or using defective tools.

Gribbins Insulation Adds Assistant Controller, Joy Veatch

Joy Veatch - Assistant ControllerEvansville, Indiana – Gribbins Insulation announces the addition of Joy Veatch to its team. With over 10 years experience in construction accounting, Veatch now serves as Assistant Controller, a position newly created at Gribbins. Her primary responsibility is assisting Gribbins’ Secretary-Treasurer, Patrick Wahl. Veatch’s key duties include job costing, budgeting, forecasting, and payroll management. In describing what drew her to Gribbins, Veatch explains, “My knowledge of Gribbins Insulation began through office-to-office communications during my time at Peyronnin Construction. I am most impressed with the level of professionalism that encompasses Gribbins Insulation.”

Prior to joining Gribbins Insulation in March 2017, Veatch served as Accounting Supervisor at Peyronnin Construction in Evansville, Indiana. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Indiana. Currently, Veatch is pursuing accreditation from the Construction Financial Management Association as a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP).

A native of Newburgh, Indiana, Veatch is committed to community. She volunteers as a horse leader for Riding Hope, a therapy and adaptive riding program for area children with special needs.

Founded in 1985, Gribbins Insulation is a commercial and industrial mechanical insulation contractor serving the Midwestern United States. Headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, the company has five branch offices in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

Lead Awareness

Lead, a basic chemical element, is a heavy metal.  It can be combined with various other substances to form numerous lead compounds.  Exposure to lead can occur during demolition or salvage of structures where lead or lead-containing materials are present, new construction, alteration, repair, or renovation of structures that contain lead or materials containing lead, installation of products containing lead, or removal or encapsulation of materials containing lead.  Exposure may also occur when transporting, disposing, or storing, of lead or materials containing lead on a construction site, and maintenance operations associated with construction activities.

The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for lead is 50 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (50μg/m3), averaged over an 8-hour workday.  When a work area is above the PEL signs must be posted.  The action level is 30 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air averaged over and 8-hr workday.  The action level triggers several ancillary provisions of that standard such as exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and training.

Exposure

Lead can be absorbed into your body through inhalation and ingestion.  When lead is scattered in the air as dust, fume, or mist it can be inhaled and absorbed through your lungs and upper respiratory tract.  Inhalation of airborne lead is generally the most important source of occupational lead absorption.  You can also absorb lead through your digestive system if it gets into your mouth and swallowed.  Handling food, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or make-up that have lead on them or handling these items with hands contaminated with lead will contribute to ingestion. A significant portion of the lead that you inhale or ingest gets into your bloodstream.  Once in your bloodstream, lead is circulated throughout the body and stored in various organs.  Some of this lead is quickly filtered out of your body and excreted, but some remains in the blood and other tissues.  As exposure to lead continues, the amount stored in your body will increase if you are absorbing more lead than your body is excreting.  Even though you may not be aware of any immediate symptoms of disease, this lead stored in your tissues can be slowly causing irreversible damage, first to individual cell, then to you organs and whole body systems.

Health Effects

Acute effects (short term) of overexposure – Lead is a potent, systemic poison that serves no useful function once absorbed by the body.  Taken in large enough doses, lead can kill you in a matter of days.  A condition affecting the brain called acute encephalopathy may arise which develops quickly to seizures, coma, and death from cardio respiratory arrest.   Short term occupation exposures of this magnitude are highly unusual, but not impossible.

Chronic effects overexposure – Chronic overexposure to lead may result in severe damage to your blood – forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems.  Some common symptoms of chronic overexposure include loss of appetite, metallic taste in the mouth, anxiety, constipation, nausea, pallor, excessive tiredness, weakness, insomnia, headache, nervous irritability, muscle and joint pain or soreness, fine tremors, numbness, dizziness, hyperactivity and colic.  Chronic overexposure to lead impairs the reproductive systems of both men and women.  Overexposure to lead may result in decreased sex drive, impotence and sterility in men.  Lead exposure may cause birth defects to children.

Employees should immediately notify your employer if you develop signs or symptoms associated with lead poisoning or if you desire medical advice concerning the effects of current or past exposure to lead or your ability to have a healthy child.

Protection

Respirators must be used when the employee’s exposure to lead exceeds the PEL, engineering and work-practice controls are not sufficient to reduce the employee exposure below the PEL, an employee request a respirator and interim protection is required during the assessment of exposure.  Protective work clothing shall be worn to prevent the contamination of an employee’s clothing.  Types of this protective clothing include:  coveralls or similar full-body work clothing, gloves, hats, shoes, face shields, vented goggles.

In any work area where an employee’s exposure to lead is above the PEL readily visible signs must be posted.  These signs shall contain the wording:  WARNING, LEAD WORK AREA, POISON, NO SMOKING OR EATING

President’s Message

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

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2018 Q1 Safety Stars!

Posted: 04/19/18 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Working at heights, training, possible asbestos, and even icicles!

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Toolbox Talk

2019 Safety Star Winners

Posted: 07/02/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Safety STAR winners from the first half of 2019!

Read Full Article

Heat Stress and Related Illnesses

Posted: 05/27/19 By: Megan Knoll, Dir of Marketing

Higher temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses. Learn to recognize the symptoms and catch them early.

Read Full Article