OSHA’s Fixed Ladder Rule Set to Change Soon

As of November 19, cages will no longer be required on fixed ladders. Currently, OSHA standard 1910.27 requires cages on ladders where the climb is over 20 feet high. However, OSHA’s new standard 1910.28 amends the rule so that ladders will only be required to have fall protection if their height is higher than 24 feet (24’-0-1/4” requires fall protection).

This is part of OSHA’s final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to protect workers in from falls. The administration is giving you plenty of time to update products and procedures to get into compliance with the new standard.  Organizations can begin preparing for the change now and anytime during the next five months before the standard officially takes effect without penalty or citation, OSHA said.

By November 19, 2018, organizations must have installed fall protection (personal fall arrest systems, ladder safety systems, cages, wells) on existing fixed ladders over 24 feet that do not have any fall protection. Also, they must have installed personal fall arrest systems or ladder safety system on all new fixed ladders over 24 feet and replacement ladders/ladder sections. If you have cages now, however, OSHA says you will be grandfathered in until November 2036.

Bottom line, if your floor-to-floor height is between 20 and 24 feet, you are no longer required to have a cage on your ladder. While some still may feel more comfortable retaining a ladder cage as a safety barrier despite the new rule, there are some benefits to OSHA’s revised standard:

  • Cost savings: The new rule will save you money because cageless ladders are less expensive to manufacture and require less shipping space on freight lines (thus are two-to-four times more economical to ship).
  • Reduced visibility: Without the cage, you decrease the ladder’s visibility from the outside. This not only improves your building’s visual appeal but also may reduce theft from people who might happen by and be tempted when they see a caged ladder.

In lieu of cages, the OSHA standard requires fixed ladders installed after Nov. 18, 2018, to include some type of fall protection in the form of a system that will help prevent falls. These may include climbing systems, body harnesses and/or ladder safety systems.

Rail climbing systems provide maximum safety for workers in towers, antennas, stacks, scaffolds, wind generators, silos, ladders and many others. A rail easily attaches to a ladder or climbing surface, while a trolley moves freely along the rail unless a slip or fall occurs. If that happens, the trolley instantly locks to prevent a fall.

The cable systems include a full-body harness and usually a stainless-steel cable. These systems typically feature a safety sleeve that automatically follows the ascending and descending movements of a worker along a fixed ladder. If a slip or fall occurs, a locking mechanism engages, limiting the fall to a few inches and reducing the possibility of serious injury.

Between now and mid-November, make sure you are in compliance with OSHA’s new rule for fixed ladder climbing. If you have questions about how the new rules affect you or need help updating your facility, call your local experts at KC Supply Co., 1.800.KC.SUPPLY or www.kcsupply.com.


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Stop Slips, Trips & Falls with Self-Closing Safety Gates

Falls are one of the most common causes of work-related injuries and deaths in the United States. In 2015, OSHA handed out 7,000 citations, making fall protection the most frequent workplace safety violation. The cost of these injuries is eye-opening, as well: Worker’s compensation and medical expenses from occupational fall incidents have been estimated to cost $70 billion annually.

When it comes to protecting workers from falls, you can’t ever be too cautious. Your employees are your greatest asset, and every time they walk near an elevated opening they are at risk. However, having the right fall protection equipment in place, such as self-closing safety gates, can help prevent dangerous falls.

The best way to protect employees on an elevated work platform with an unprotected opening, such as a ladderway or stair opening, is by installing self-closing safety gates. Self-closing safety gates are critical for protecting workers from entry and exit falls, and in many cases they are required by OSHA regulations. These gates are easy to implement and will save you time and money while keeping your employees safe.

According to OSHA 1910.23 (“Protection for floor openings” and “Protection of open-sided floors, platforms and runways”): Every ladderway, floor opening or platform shall be guarded by a standard railing with standard toe board on all exposed sides (except at entrance to opening), with the passage through the railing either provided with a swinging gate or so offset that a person cannot walk directly into the opening. Also, every open-sided floor or platform four feet or more above adjacent floor or ground level shall be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides except where there is entrance to a ramp, stairway or fixed ladder. The railing shall be provided with a toe board wherever, beneath the open sides, people can pass, there is moving machinery or there is equipment with which falling materials could create a hazard.

To protect workers at your facility and ensure you’re OSHA-compliant, you should install safety gates in the following situations:

  • All ladder access points:To prevent your employees from falling into the entrance of a ladderway floor hole, install a high-quality, self-closing safety gate.
  • Work platforms:No matter what kind of work platform you have, they all require fall protection for your workers. Whether you have standard platforms, mezzanines or loading docks, securing all open edges of the platform with safety swing gates will protect your employees and meet OSHA requirements.
  • Roof openings:When installing guard rail systems around roof openings to protect workers from injuries and falls, the top rails must be 39 to 45 inches higher than the working surface. The guard rail also must be able to withstand the force of 200 pounds. A safety gate system can complement the guard rails surrounding the open roof area, providing more protection for workers and OSHA compliance.
  • Any surface higher than four feet in the air:OSHA requires that adequate fall protection be provided for elevations of four feet or more in general workplaces, five feet in shipyards and six feet in construction sites. OSHA also requires that fall protection be provided when working with dangerous equipment and machinery, no matter what the fall distance is. Any work area taller than four feet high must be protected with guard rails and safety gates that are at least 42 inches tall. OSHA requires the rails and gates to be on installed on every open side of the platform.

One key thing to remember: It’s important that a self-closing gate slides or swings away from the hole. Also, the gate should be equipped with a top rail and mid rail.

Need to outfit your entire facility with safety gates to comply with OSHA regulations? Count the number of openings you need to cover and then call the experts at KC Supply. We can help you determine which self-closing safety gates are best for your facility, and we’ll work within your budget to meet OSHA requirements and protect your employees. Call us at 800.KC.SUPPLY or visit kcsupply.com today.

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Tank Hatches 101

Many businesses face challenges during the processing, storage and transport of materials, including minimizing product losses, reducing vapor emissions, decreasing the risk of explosions and/or keeping operating pressures close to the maximum allowable tank pressure.

One key to reducing such challenges is a quality tank hatch. Tank hatches can be used for bulk storage silos, grain elevators, baghouses for cement, food products, grain and industrial products.

They provide venting when adding and removing product from storage silos or other structures. In addition, hatches enable access to the tanks and silos if an employee has to enter to clean or inspect the structure. They feature a large, 24-inch opening for access. A weather hood provides protection from environmental elements, and there are no internal components that may contaminate the product.

Other specifications include: stand-off extension tube, flanged matching-bolt pattern for easy installation, stainless-steel construction that withstands harsh environments, minimal effect on air flow rate, and the internal configuration allows air flow while protecting the PRV hatch.

KC Supply sells a variety of tank hatches and also is the only Knappco authorized repair facility in the United States for Knappco tank hatches. Our Knappco factory-authorized repair center employs factory-trained repair personnel and specialized testing equipment. We can disassemble and clean spring assemblies as well as reassemble and test Knappco tank hatches to factory specifications.

Whether you need to repair your current Knappco tank hatches or purchase a new one, call your tank hatch experts at KC Supply, 800.527.8775 or 800.KC.SUPPLY, or visit www.kcsupply.com.


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What Do You Know About Lagging?

Pully Lagging - KC Supply Co.

“Lagging” is the term used to describe the application of a coating or cover applied to a pulley. As more conveyor systems are being built to go faster with increased capacity, the importance of pulley lagging is obvious.

Lagging is often applied in order to extend the life of the pulley by providing a replaceable wearing surface or to improve the friction between the belt and the pulley, thereby preventing costly maintenance and replacement of damaged pulleys. It also can reduce the chance that a belt will slip. Slipping belts will wear out, cause fires and damage your equipment. There are three common types of lagging used on pulleys:
1. Rubber – This lagging is soft and won’t damage the belt but also does not have a long lifespan. Drive pulleys are often rubber-lagged to improve the friction between the conveyor belt and the pulley.
2. Ceramic – This lagging is used in instances where the pulley operates in extremely aggressive conditions.
3. Replaceable strip – This lagging comprises a series of steel support strips, which are welded or bolted to the pulley. The lagging material, which is either rubber or ceramic strips, is then slid into the steel retaining strips to provide lagging on the pulley.

Pulley lagging lowers maintenance costs, minimizes downtime, extends the life of pulleys, easy to install and replace, and is self-cleaning. The only maintenance pulley lagging requires is

• Regularly inspecting and monitoring its condition
• Repairing local damage before it affects other areas
• Ensuring that re-lagging of pulleys is done by experienced personnel to maximize the life of the lagging
• Having a spare pulley available so that a damaged pulley or damaged lagging can be removed from service

If you have questions or want to know more about pulley lagging, the experts at KC Supply Co. can help. We are your trusted source for pulley lagging and field-formable lagging, which offers on-the-spot re-lagging. Call 1.800.KC.SUPPLY or visit www.kcsupply.com

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How Do You Select the Best Belt for Your Conveyor?

Conveyors are only as good as the belts they are fitted with, but choosing the right conveyor belt is a critical, yet often overlooked, detail. The wrong belt can significantly affect your throughput, cost, downtime and safety, so you need to get it right.

So how do you choose the best belt for your conveyor? When it comes to choosing the best belt for your specific application, there are many considerations, including:

• The material or materials you need to move
• The size, weight and distribution of the materials to be conveyed
• The environment the conveyor will operate in (temperature, dry or wet conditions, hazards, etc.)
• The speed the materials will need to travel and whether they move up or down

Conveyor belts are available in a variety of materials, cover thicknesses and grades that can be selected to meet your specific application. Available materials for belting include: rubber, PVC, urethane, neoprene, nylon, nitrile, polyester and kevlar.

For grain and feed applications, PVC and heavy-duty rubber belting are both good options. No matter which conveyor belt you decide is best for you, make sure that the belting meets or exceeds OSHA safety standards for static conductivity and Mine Safety Health Act (MSHA) flame-resistance standards.

When you select the right belts for your application and needs, make sure to also consider how that belting should be maintained, replaced or modified, and the associated costs.

If you need help determining the best belts for your conveyor and your agricultural application, call on KC Supply Co. to help. KC Supply Co. offers a full supply of conveyors, belts and accessories. We have the equipment, parts and accessories you need for your business, including bucket elevator belts, elevator buckets, bolts and parts. Call our knowledgeable sales staff today, 800.KC.SUPPLY.

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Why Are Gas Monitors Important?

To keep your facility safe, you need a way to accurately monitor the atmosphere for dangerous gas levels. Because most gases are undetectable to humans, it is critical that you have the right tools to keep your personnel and property safe at all times.

Gas monitors are typically portable, allowing workers to clip them onto their uniforms when working in an area that might have gas leaks. Monitors can detect one or several different gases simultaneously.

Two new Draeger personal-use monitors are now available from KC Supply Co.: the X-am 8000 multi sensor monitor and the PAC 8500 dual sensor.

The Draeger PAC 8500 dual-gas detection device is a reliable and precise monitor even under the toughest conditions. It can be equipped with a hydrogen-compensated CO sensor or a Draeger dual sensor. This gives you the option of measuring two gases at once: hydrogen sulphide with carbon monoxide or oxygen with carbon monoxide. It provides a data and event logger for recording concentrations and events along with the date and time. Dual sensors enable detection of even low concentrations, all in one device. Measuring two gases at once reduces downtime, as well.

Other features include:

  • Large display
  • 360-degree alarm signal can be easily seen from all sides
  • Clear color-coding prevents mistakes
  • Easy fastening with tightly closing crocodile clip

The Draeger X-am 8000 multi-gas detection monitor makes clearance measurement easy and convenient. The X-am 8000 measures up to seven toxic and flammable gases, vapors and oxygen all at once, either in pump or diffusion mode. Innovative signaling design and handy assistant functions ensure complete safety throughout the process. A pump adapter makes it easy to switch between diffusion and pump mode at any time. This means the pump only operates when you actually need it, saving energy, reducing wear and tear and extending the pump’s lifespan. Handy and durable, the X-am 8000 is intuitive to operate single-handedly using three function keys. The easy-to-read color display clearly shows all the information for you.

Additional features include:

  • Switch easily between pump and diffusion mode
  • Optional Bluetooth module to connect with the CSE Connect app for Android
  • Easy-to-read color display with zoom function
  • Five slots for DraegerSensors to measure up to seven gases, two new high-performance PID sensor

Gas monitors are a vital safety tool for your facility and employees. KC Supply Co. will help keep your workplace safe. If you don’t have gas monitors, or have old models that need to be upgraded, call 1.800.KC.SUPPLY to discuss your needs and we’ll offer solutions. We can answer any questions you may have about gas monitors, especially Draeger gas monitors.


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