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Workplace Injuries Cost $1 Billion Per Week

According to the 2018 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, U.S. workplaces are getting safer. The survey found a 1.5% overall reduction in serious accidents. However, workplace injuries are getting more expensive for U.S. businesses.

According to Liberty Mutual, serious workplace injuries cost businesses more than $58 billion in 2018 — a nearly 3% increase from the 2017 findings. That means workplace injuries currently cost more than $1 billion each week.

With workplace injuries costing so much, you’ll want to make sure your business is doing everything it can to mitigate risk and keep employees — and your business — as safe as possible. Understanding risk is the first step to protecting your employees, so here are the top 10 causes of disabling injuries at U.S. workplaces, according to Liberty Mutual:

  1. Overexertion: Injuries from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing cost businesses $13.7 billion.
  2. Falls (same level): Falls on the same level, such as slipping on a wet floor, cost $11.2 billion.
  3. Falls (lower level): Falls to a lower level, such as from a ladder or platform, cost $5.9 billion.
  4. Struck by object or equipment: Getting hurt by an object falling from above cost businesses $5.3 billion.
  5. Other Exertion/Bodily reaction: Injuries from bending, crawling, climbing, reaching, twisting, kneeling or walking cost $4.2 billion.
  6. Roadway incidents involving vehicles: Incidents involving vehicles, such as an accident on the highway, cost $3.2 billion.
  7. Slips or trips without falling: Injuries resulting from tripping over an object or trying to avoid a fall cost businesses $2.3 billion.
  8. Caught in/Compressed by equipment: Getting caught or compressed by equipment, such as rollers or gears, cost $2.1 billion.
  9. Struck by object or equipment: Workers struck by objects, such as walking into a drawer or door, cost $2 billion.
  10. Repetitive motion. Repeating motions or micro-tasks on a manufacturing assembly line cost $1.5 billion.

What can we do to reduce these workplace injuries? Proper training and awareness is the first and most important step. In addition, keeping your work area clean and clutter-free is key, as is being aware of environmental factors that can cause injuries, such as improper placement of equipment or tools. Make sure ladders are in proper working order and all equipment is inspected and maintained regularly. Also, ensure that your employees wear proper safety gear when necessary.

KC Supply has all the safety gear you need to keep your employees safe. Visit to learn more, or contact us today at 800.KC.SUPPLY.


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KC Supply Thanks Customers for 30 Years

As KC Supply Co. celebrates 30 years in business, we want to express our sincere appreciation to our customers, vendors and employees for your loyal support and for the part you have played in our success.

“When our company was founded in 1988, we could hardly foresee our growth to an international supply company supplying thousands of products and services only 30 years later,” said KC Supply President and founder Jeff Lavery. “We could not have come this far without the loyal support and hard work of each member of the KC Supply team.”

What began as a small firm with just a few members has risen up to stand tall amongst the business leaders in our industry. KC Supply has accrued countless achievements and accomplishments, but none more important than the personal relationships we’ve developed with our clients.

We are so grateful to our clients and customers who trust us to provide products and services. Their demands, challenges and feedback have pushed us to improve. Our success story would be incomplete without the support of our clients and customers. Not only have you made us a part of your lives, but you’ve also helped us reach out to the world. You spread the word faster and in a better way than any of our promotional means ever could.

Earlier this year, KC Supply’s President and founder, Jeff Lavery, announced his retirement. KC Supply has been acquired by Scott Moseley, Kansas City resident, who will carry on the legacy of service that Lavery built at KC Supply. Moseley said he is excited to lead and innovate as the market changes.

As we celebrate KC Supply’s success over the past 30 years and look forward to continued success in the future, please know that our commitment to you, our customers, will not change.

“We plan to keep our business and relationship growing with you and continue to provide you with nothing less than the best,” Moseley said.

As always, feel free to reach out to us at 1.800.KC.SUPPLY (1.800.527.8775) and let us help you. Thank you so much for your trust and support! Visit or email

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When Seconds Matter, Rescue Gear Is Critical

Just before 9:00 am on May 30, the Burlington, Iowa, fire department got a call to rescue a farmer trapped inside a grain bin.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, only the man’s head and neck were visible in a grain bin that was about two-thirds full, media reports said. He was trapped for an hour before emergency crews arrived. He had been working to move the grain out of the bin when the top crust gave way, sending him down into the grain, according to local TV station KWQC.

Emergency crews used specialized rescue gear, an interlocking grain tube from KC Supply Co., to stabilize the man inside the bin. When using the tube, it is placed over the victim, easing the pressure on him until ropes and harnesses can be used to pull him out.

Grain was then removed from the bin to free the farmer, who walked out of one of the doors of the bin to a waiting ambulance. He was transported to the local hospital for evaluation, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

“It just turned into a small avalanche, there was an air pocket in there somewhere and it just trapped him,” Diane Lange, the man’s sister, told KWQC. “He’s amazing – took him several hours to get extricated out of there and he climbed out of the grain bin on his own will, it was amazing.”

Battalion Chief Bruce Workman of the Burlington Fire Department said the grain tube and their training saved the man’s life.

The man’s family was so grateful to the firefighters that his daughter purchased a new grain tube to donate to another fire department for use in future rescues.

It’s critical to have rescue gear on hand for grain entrapment and other emergencies. In addition to the grain tube, other key rescue devices include the patented red rescue auger and the silver wall, KC Supply’s exclusive bolted‐on internal and external steps. Scott Moseley, owner of KC Supply Co., said his company is proud to partner with a national insurance company to provide training to first responders with its equipment and talk about the great success stories like Ms. Lange’s father’s. For more information or to order rescue gear so you’ll be prepared for an emergency, call 800.KC.SUPPLY or visit

Watch how one training program uses KC Supply’s Grain Entrapment Rescue Wall and rescue auger to prepare for rescues: For more information about the West Burlington rescue, visit: or


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Selecting Conveyor Pulleys

Conveyor pulleys are used on belt conveyor systems to drive, redirect, provide tension to, or help track the conveyor belt. A conveyor pulley is critical to the reliability and performance of belt conveyor systems.

That’s why selecting pulleys is a critical process – the right pulley keeps your equipment running flawlessly. If you make the wrong choice, such as choosing the wrong size of pulley, it can result in system failure and expensive downtime.

Selecting the right pulley for your system is critical, but not easy. When selecting a pulley for a belt conveyor application, a little homework is required. Here are steps that can make your decision easier and more accurate:

  1. Determine the face length of the conveyor pulley: The face length of a conveyor pulley is a derivative of the conveyor belt width. In bulk-handling applications, an adequate pulley face length is one that is 2 or 3 inches greater overall or 1 to 1.5 inches greater on each end than the overall width of the conveyor belt. Of course, unit handling applications may require you to deviate from these guidelines.
  2. Determine the anticipated belt tension of the conveyor system: Belt tension is the degree to which the conveyor belt is stretched or held tight and is typically measured in pounds per inch width (PIW). Conveyor pulleys and shafts of a larger diameter are better equipped to handle elevated levels of belt tension.
  3. Find the outer diameter & shaft diameter of the conveyor pulley: To properly size both the outer diameter of a pulley and select an appropriate shaft diameter, you first need to understand the key role that selection plays in avoiding the most common cause of premature failure, shaft deflection.
  4. Determine the style of hub connection: The hub is the mechanism that connects the conveyor pulley to the shaft. There are many types of hub connections, all of which offer individual advantages and disadvantages. Consider these things when selecting a hub connection type for a conveyor pulley: pulley position, system load, cost, maintenance and pre-stress.
  5. Determine the pulley configuration: The configuration of a conveyor pulley will affect its ability to effectively operate in a given environment. You should select pulley configuration based on application load requirements, environmental requirements, the intent of the pulley in the conveyor system (head/drive, tail, bend, etc.), and the type, amount and characteristics of the material being conveyed.
  6. Figure out the profile of the pulley face: A conveyor pulley’s profile will impact its ability to effectively track the conveyor belt. The profile of a conveyor pulley should be selected based on the need for belt tracking as well as the belt’s desired life and performance. A pulley profile may use multiple crowns on one common surface.
  7. Determine the appropriate component materials: Conveyor pulleys can be constructed with a variety of materials, but pulley material plays an important role in determining pulley construction and may substantially impact the overall level of pulley performance in operation.
  8. Determine the type of contact surface: The type of contact surface chosen for the pulley face can affect many application variables within the conveyor system. Unless an alternate surface is desired, pulleys are furnished with a plain steel or mill type finish similar to that of a standard tube or pipe. The most common contact surface modifications are those designed to increase the traction or grip between the drive pulley and the underside of the conveyor belt. In addition to providing increased traction, an alternate contact surface may be used to impact a pulley’s wear resistance, ease of cleaning and aesthetics.

Selecting the right pulley for your belt conveyor system can be tricky. If you need help, call the experts at KC Supply Co. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have about pulleys and belt conveyor systems, 800.KC.SUPPLY or


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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


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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 today.

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