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GEAPS, GEAPS EXCHANGE 2018, EXPO

Visit KC Supply Co. at GEAPS Exchange 2018

Come see KC Supply Co. at the Grain Elevator and Processing Society’s GEAPS Exchange 2018 – the “biggest and best show in the grain industry!”

The show, to be held March 24-27, 2018, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, features the best education, networking and expo in the grain industry. In the Expo hall, hundreds of suppliers from all over the world will display and demonstrate a variety of products and services. The Exchange will offer nearly 40 hours of educational sessions, including an opening workshop, idea exchange and hour-long concurrent sessions and hands-on Expo Pods.

If you’re planning to attend the show, come by and visit KC Supply in corner booth #1931. We will be demonstrating the “latest and greatest” in

  • Self-Closing Safety Gates
  • Ladder Climbing Systems
  • Bin Level Monitors, and more

Come get a look at the newest models and safety features while learning about products you need for your facility. If you can’t wait for GEAPS Exchange 2018 or you cannot attend this year’s event, you can learn about safety gates, ladder climbing systems, bin level monitors by calling KC Supply at 800.527.8775 or 800.KC.SUPPLY for more information.

For more information on GEAPS Exchange 2018, visit http://exchange.geaps.com/GEAPS18/Public/Enter.aspx.

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Get a Handle on Hazardous Dust

Grain Dust Can Be DangerousA high concentration of airborne dust can create an explosion hazard as well as workplace-induced asthma and other diseases. Protecting your employees and facility from combustible and respiratory dust hazards is not just prudent, but also may save lives.

Many materials can be explosive in dust form and they exist in many industries and processes. Examples include: food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal and metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc).

In grain processing and storage facilities, grain dust is the main source of explosions, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). In the last 35 years, more than 500 grain dust explosions have been recorded in the U.S., killing more than 180 people and injuring more than 675, according to OSHA.

On May 31, 2017, an explosion rocked a milling plant in Wisconsin, killing killed five workers, injuring 12 and destroying a corn processing plant. After a five-month OSHA investigation determined that the incident was preventable, the company was fined $1.8 million.

OSHA’s investigation found that the company failed to take several safety measures, including failing to control highly combustible grain dust that leaked from enclosures and accumulated throughout the plant. In addition, the company didn’t maintain equipment to prevent heat or sparks that can ignite the dust.

The company’s willful citations were issued under OSHA’s grain handling standards for machine maintenance and dust control, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Among other failures, the serious citations included violating rules requiring that dust-filtering machinery installed inside a building are equipped with explosion-suppression devices. The company was also cited for not creating a written dust-removal plan and schedule, and not training employees. Instead of requiring sweeping, workers were allowed to use compressed air to clear dust from surfaces around machinery that could ignite it, OSHA’s report said.

NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, contains comprehensive guidance on the control of dusts to prevent explosions. Some of its recommendations include:

  • Minimizing the escape of dust from process equipment or ventilation systems
  • Using dust collection systems and filters
  • Using surfaces that minimize dust accumulation and facilitate cleaning
  • Providing access to all hidden areas to permit inspection
  • Inspecting for dust residues in open and hidden areas, at regular intervals
  • Cleaning dust residues at regular intervals
  • Use cleaning methods that do not generate dust clouds, if ignition sources are present
  • Only using vacuum cleaners approved for dust collection
  • Locating relief valves away from dust hazard areas
  • Developing and implementing a hazardous dust inspection, testing, housekeeping and control program (preferably in writing with established frequency and methods)

In addition, the OSHA ventilation standard, 29 CFR 1910.94, contains ventilation requirements for certain types of operations (such as abrasives, blasting, grinding, or buffing) which involve dusts, including combustible dusts. In addition, 29 CFR 1910.22(a)(1) requires employers to keep workplaces and other areas clean, which includes the removal of dust accumulations. Learn more at www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib073105.html.

“It is important to keep dust to a minimum. Dust accumulation is not allowed beyond a threshold depending on the product and type of facility,” said Jeff Lavery, KC Supply Co. owner.

Industrial vacuums can help contain hazardous dust in certain environments. KC Supply Co. offers electronic and air-operated vacuums, with 30- and 55-gallon capacity and including static conductive and hazardous location options. If you need help cleaning up hazardous dust in your facility, call us at 800.527.8775 today. We can answer your questions and help you get a plan in place for cleaning up dangerous dust in your facility.

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Old Rusted Bolts Giving You Fits? Try Bolt Cutters

Removing old, stuck bolts from buckets and belting is not a fun way to pass the time. When bolts rust or have damaged threads, they can be painstakingly difficult and time-consuming to remove. A ratchet socket wrench can be slow and doesn’t always work. After spending hours attempting to remove stuck bolts, taking a hammer to them might seem like a great idea, but it will only hurt your bucket.

 

A better option is using an elevator bucket bolt cutter. They can help you safely and quickly remove bolts from buckets and belting. You’re not going to re-use the bolts, so it’s easier just to cut them off. Standard bolt cutters just won’t cut it though. Elevator bucket bolt cutters are made for stuck elevator bolts and are more efficient and only require a fraction of the time – snip and done vs spin the nut off and hope they come off. In addition, standard bolt cutters are designed to be used at a 90-degree angle – a luxury you don’t have with elevator buckets.

“These, unique, one-of-a-kind conversion of snippers have specially designed teeth specifically for cutting bolts from within the buckets,” said Jeff Lavery, KC Supply Co. owner. “Since the cutter is inserted directly into the bucket, the teeth ‘bite’ through the bolt, nut and washers.”

To see how quickly our bolt cutter cuts through an elevator bolt, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51p7EOtY5X8

If rusted-over bolts are keeping you from replacing your old elevator buckets and belting, KC Supply has a solution for you. We can answer any questions you may have about elevator bucket bold cutters and help you find the right cutters for your needs.

KC Supply, founded in Kansas City in 1988, is an industry leader in supplying industrial/agricultural products. For more than 25 years, we’ve been leaders in conveying and elevating equipment. We also offer safety supplies and are proud to offer one of the largest selections of Knappco and Civacon products. Call us at 800.527.8775 or visit www.kcsupply.com.

 

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Safeguarding Employees with Screens

Safety screens play an important role in protecting people from moving equipment. If you don’t have screens installed with your inspection and access doors, you should.

“Doors are used to ‘enter’ equipment to inspect or work on the internal components,” said Jeff Lavery, KC Supply Co. owner. “With inspection doors, screens are usually permanently attached so that a tool is not required to open the door because they just ‘look’ at the equipment without entering (with tool, hand or body). For access doors, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a tool to open the door – or a safety screen to prevent someone from sticking their hand or tool inside the equipment while it is running, thus potentially resulting in an injury or amputation.”

According to OSHA, amputations are among the most severe and disabling workplace injuries because they often result in permanent disability. They are widespread and involve various activities and equipment, including saws, presses, conveyors, and bending, rolling or shaping machines as well as powered and non-powered hand tools, forklifts, doors, trash compactors and during materials-handling activities.

Workplace injuries resulted in nearly 3,000 amputations in 2015, OSHA reported. A 2016 OSHA report revealed that there were 10,388 severe injuries caused by workplace conditions in 2015. These injuries led to 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. OSHA collected the data from 26 states that have higher safety standards than those mandated by federal regulations.

The manufacturing industry saw the highest proportion of accidents – it accounted for 57 percent of all amputations and 26 percent of all hospitalizations. Among the other industries with high accident rates were construction, transportation and warehousing as well oil and gas extraction.

The OSHA rules on “Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations” (OSHA 3170-02R) is available at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3170/3170-02R-2007-English.html. The U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has similar guidelines in place for moving machine part hazards.

Safety screens are a necessary part of any material-handling system to help prevent accidents. Consider that that conveyor belt moving at 300 feet per minute – or 5 feet per second – will you’re your tool, your loose clothing, your hand or your arm 5 feet into the pinch point before you can even react.

Do you have questions regarding safety screens? Please let KC Supply help you make your workplace safer for your employees. KC Supply provides screens for several brands of doors, including Tsubaki, PS Doors, Civacon and Knappco brands. Call KC Supply Co. today at 800.KCSUPPLY and let us answer all your questions and help you determine which safety screens are right for your equipment and facility. Visit www.kcsupply.com for more information.

 

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KC Supply Co., Nationwide Mark Grain Bin Safety Week with Fifth-Annual Contest

Grain entrapment accidents  - KC Supply Co.Grain bins can be a dangerous place to work, and grain entrapment accidents are increasing, according to a 2017 report published by Purdue University.

Purdue keeps a database on reported accidents in confined agricultural spaces. In 2016, the school recorded 29 incidents involving grain entrapment accidents, 11 falls into or from grain storage structures, 10 asphyxiations in toxic environments and eight accidents involving entangled equipment.

Those numbers represent a 25% spike in the number of cases documented in 2015, according to Purdue’s report, which is compiled annually.

Much like quicksand, flowing grain can bury a worker within seconds. Trapped in chest-high grain, a person can suffocate quickly. Submerged in grain, it can take just four seconds for a person to become trapped to the point of helplessness.

To help rescue workers save people involved in grain entrapment accidents, Nationwide is launching its fifth-annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest to coincide with Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries and deaths by widely promoting safe bin-entry procedures, which include maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment. Contest winners will receive a grain rescue tube and rescue training.

Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 48 fire departments in 18 states. To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to provide safety training. The director of NECAS travels to training locations with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and a rescue simulation with the entrapment tool, which is loaded onto a 20-foot trailer and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain.

“Nationwide created this program and joined forces with partners across the country to make it happen for a single purpose – to save lives,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “We understand the importance of the work that farmers are doing every day, and we will continue to make the rescue tubes and training available as long as these dangers exist.”

Last year, Glenville, Minnesota, Fire Chief Matt Webb rescued a man who had fallen into a bin of rotting corn. “The grain rescue training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment,” he said. “The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county.”

Grain Bin Safety Week is Feb. 18-24, 2018, and nominations for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest will remain open until April 30. Both are supported by Nationwide and the following partners:

  • KC Supply
  • Agri-Business Insurance Services
  • Arthur J Gallagher & Co.
  • CHS
  • The Cornerstone Agency Inc.
  • David Larson Financial and Insurance Services Inc.
  • First Gabrielson Insurance Agency
  • KFSA Insurance Agency
  • The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
  • Nationwide Land As Your Legacy
  • NOHR Wortmann Engineering
  • Ravenna Feed & Grain
  • The Scoular Company
  • Sietsema Farms Feeds
  • Specialty Risk Insurance
  • West Side Salvage

“KC Supply Co. is proud to support this great cause to help save lives,” said Jeff Lavery, owner of KC Supply. “We have supported Nationwide’s program for a number of years and are grateful to continue to have this opportunity.”

KC Supply is a distributor of conveying and elevating equipment plus safety supplies for the ag industry. For more information, call 1.800.527.8775 (1.800.KC.SUPPLY) or visit www.kcsupply.com.

For more information about the program or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com or watch this video.

 

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Choose Compliant Lighting for Your Grain Handling Facility

Grain handling facility - KC Supply Co.Hazardous locations – where there is the potential for a fire or explosion due to electrical equipment operating in an area where there might be flammable or ignitable gases, liquids, vapors, dusts or fibers – require equipment rated for the environment, including lighting.

The National Electrical Code (NEC) along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have a published guide that classifies hazardous areas into classes, divisions and zones.

Class II locations consist of locations where combustible dusts may exist and have the potential to become flammable or ignitable. In Class II locations, the dust’s ignition temperature, electrical conductivity and thermal blanketing effect it can have on heat-producing equipment such as lighting fixtures and motors are the deciding factors in determining the Class II groups. Locations that would be considered among Class II locations include grain elevators and grain-handling facilities, and flour and feed mills.

Group G dusts include plastic dusts, most chemical dusts and food and grain dusts. They are not electrically conductive. These dusts, in general, have the highest thermal insulating characteristics and the lowest ignition temperatures. Thus, equipment for use in Group G atmospheres must have the lowest surface temperatures to prevent ignition of a layer by the heat generated by the equipment.

In 2017, there were three major dust explosions in the United States, which killed several employees. Most recently, in May, an explosion at a mill in Cambria, Wisc., killed five and injured 12.

Dust explosions are one of the most dangerous and challenging hazards facing a grain handling facility. That’s why Class II-G electrical components are required in grain elevators. These components include lighting.

This lighting is important for safety and for meeting OSHA’s hazardous location lighting safety standards (OSHA 29 CRF 1910.272). According to OSHA, compliant lighting should be “An apparatus enclosed in a case that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a specified gas or vapor that may occur within it and of preventing the ignition of a specified gas or vapor surrounding the enclosure by sparks, flashes, or explosion of the gas or vapor within, and that operates at such an external temperature that a surrounding flammable atmosphere will not be ignited thereby.”

Lighting rated for a grain handling facility must be designed to prevent inadvertent ignition, either by preventing ignited gases or materials from escaping the light during a fault or ignition within the light – which could ignite the surrounding volatile atmosphere – or by prohibiting the potential for the creation of sparks and heat. Also, switches, contacts, internal wiring and other potential sources of electrical energy are heavily shielded and sealed against the possibility of contact or damage that may cause sparks or overheating should the unit become damaged. So lamps and electrical contacts are encased within rugged sealed housings that can contain an internal explosion and/or channels are created through the use of finely threaded joints and pathways within housings that force escaping ignited gases to travel along lengthy passages before exiting the housing, in turn lowering the temperature of these gases to a safe level before exiting the unit and gaining exposure to the environment outside of the lamp.

Do you have questions about Class II-G-compliant lighting? Call the experts at KC Supply Co., 800.527.8775. KC Supply stocks an extensive inventory of Class II-G lighting as well as confined space entry, single-gas and multiple sensor gas monitors to maintain a safe working environment in your grain handling facility. Reduce the risks of fire, explosion, hazardous exposure and asphyxiation, and keep your employees safe with equipment rated for the environment. Visit us at www.kcsupply.com to learn more.

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