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Conveyor Safety for Plant Visitors

Your workers who normally use conveyors—such as workers and other employees—know how to act around these powerful machines. However, the safety of those who are unfamiliar with them may be compromised. These people are your sales personnel, inspectors, drivers, and customers. For this reason, conveyor safety for plant visitors cannot be understated. You must always instill a culture of safety within your facility.

Here is how you can do so:

  • Safety Briefing

You must assess if guests are wearing appropriate clothing before they are allowed into the facility. Anyone with loose clothes or accessories that may be caught in the conveyor must be instructed to change or fix their clothes. Safety gear such as helmets or vests must also be handed to them before they are allowed into the operations area.

Then, conduct a briefing for conveyor safety for plant visitors. Inform them of what the conveyor belt does, and the hazards of being too near the equipment. Once they understand the potential hazards and are mindful of their safety, allow them to enter your operations area. Those who have no business approaching your equipment must stay in the safe buffer zone.

  • Enforcement

You must always escort your visitors inside your facility. Doing so would ensure that they have someone to ask should they have questions and they would be guided to act with safety in mind.

Also, train your employees to be more mindful of their jobs when you have visitors over. They should keep an eye out on visitors should they appear to be too near the conveyor, and to call out the attention of anyone who is disregarding conveyor safety for plant visitors. They should also be authorized to interrupt a tour if they think safety is being compromised.

At the end of the day, the safety of your visitors would rely on how well you prepared both the guests and your employees. Make sure that you do a good job to avoid any mishaps with your conveyor belt and other equipment.

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Bucket Elevator Maintenance: How to Prevent Downtime

A bucket elevator, also known as a grain leg, is important to your farming needs. It is oftentimes used to vertically haul flowable bulk materials such as fertilizer or grain. While it can carry heavy loads that range from fine to large lumps, and from light to heavy materials, it goes without saying that a faulty grain leg can disrupt your processes and set you back.

For this reason, you should ensure that your grain leg is maintained properly so it can function at optimum levels. Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure that your bucket elevator works when you need it to:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s preventive maintenance schedule and activities

Some would contest that preventive maintenance is unnecessary only to find themselves losing significant manhours due to a faulty grain leg. Bucket elevators tend to be used extensively and without break in most facilities, so it’s no wonder that it often breaks down if it is not properly maintained. If you religiously maintain your equipment, then you will be able to see if certain parts and components are already ripe for replacement before they break.

  • Maintain regular equipment inspections

Does your bucket elevator jam frequently? You should routinely inspect your equipment to ensure that there are no blockages or foreign bodies within the housing of your grain leg. You should also check that there are no moving products that can damage your equipment, and that there are no loose, missing, or broken fasteners.

Aside from guaranteeing that your equipment won’t jam, regular inspections would also give you peace of mind that there is no material accumulation in the infeed area or elevator sections. Your grain leg would therefore be in the best shape that it needs to be so you can focus on your business rather than on fixing equipment.

You should take care of your bucket elevator and your other equipment as they are the ones that are going to make you successful. If you’re ready to know more about agricultural equipment, look no further than KC Supply Co. We have everything you need when it comes to conveying and elevating equipment, as well as safety supplies. Call us today at 800KCSUPPLY to know more.

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The Benefits of Grain Vacs

As one of the biggest suppliers in the United States, we at KC Supply have been asked numerous times about the benefits of using a grain vac. While grain vacs have been used for a long time, some are still hesitant to use them because of old myths. We’re here to set them straight.

Grain Vac - KC Supply Co.

  1. It’s common to see farmers wearing dust masks. Using traditional farming materials can kick up unhealthy dust – particularly if you’re moving grain around. This puts workers at risk of being exposed to allergens, molds pores, and the dust. Now, this in itself can cause a host of health problems that can be easily avoided by using a vac. In fact, a popular comment we hear from our clients is that it is cheaper than a heart attack.
  2. Using a grain vac minimizes labor. Labor that usually takes three days to finish gets done in just a day if you use a vac. It is easier to use, and it also requires less physical exertion. This is also perfect if you do not have enough people to scoop loads, and if you want to finish harvesting in no time. So all in all, you’ll have quicker loading and unloading time – which both equal to less labor.
  3. You can sell more loads. One of the good things about using a vac is that it can remove bugs easily, so your harvest is not likely to be rejected. You can also maintain superior grain quality.
  4. A grain vac is generally safer than an open sweep auger. Using the latter is prohibited now to be used in bins since they can pose as safety hazards. Using a vac also reduces the risk that the auger will become entangled with an overhead power line.

Check out www.kcsupply.com for our grain vac selection or call us today at 800-KC-SUPPLY.

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What Type of Conveyor System Best Suits Your Business?

What kind of conveyor is most efficient for bulk material handling? Well, that all depends on your needs, and your definition of “efficient.”

Tubular drag conveyors might work best if equipment size and space utilization is a critical factor for you. On the other hand, bucket conveyors are a more efficient choice if you have more space and need to move large amounts of materials.

So first, you have to determine what factors you need and want in a conveyor system. Then you can assess some of the efficiencies and inefficiencies of each. Here are some commonly used conveyor technologies to consider:

Aeromechanical conveyors. These conveyors are best for handling bulk powders. They move products on a fluidized air stream and are efficient in terms of their ratio of energy consumption to capacity. Another advantage is that moving products on a fluidized air stream may help product flow in downstream processes. However, the drawback to aeromechanical conveyors is their moderate- to-high maintenance requirements, and they require regular adjustment and inspection of the rope assembly.

Belt conveyors. Belt conveyors can move large amounts of materials over long distances. However, they have one huge drawback: They take up more floor space than any other conveying system.

Bucket conveyors. Bucket conveyors can also move large amounts of material effectively and efficiently but, depending on their design, they may not be good for fragile materials. These conveyor systems also require a lot of floor space.

Flexible screw conveyors. These conveyors are simpler, lower cost and require a smaller space than other systems. They also work well for moving a wide range of materials. But they are notorious for their poor ratio of energy consumption to equipment capacity. And they have a tendency to degrade or damage materials that crumble or break apart easily. This can result in losses.

Pneumatic conveyors. Pneumatic conveyors come in dense and dilute phase technologies. Both types have a higher ratio of horsepower to capacity, which means that they are less energy-efficient then mechanical conveyor systems. Pneumatic conveyors also have a higher rate of wear and tear and high maintenance requirements. These conveyors also require larger dust collection systems than mechanical conveyors because the material to be moved must be separated from the air used within the system.

Tubular drag conveyors. These conveyors have lower energy requirements as well as a lower rate of wear and decreased maintenance requirements. This means cost savings that more than offset the higher price normally associated with these types of conveyors.

Each conveying technology has its strengths and weaknesses.You should choose the best conveyor system for you based on your needs and the materials you need to move.

Trust KC Supply Co. for all your conveyor belting needs. To find out more about which conveyor system might work best for you, call us at 800.KC.SUPPLY or visit www.kcsupply.com.

 

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Respirators Can Help Your Workers Breathe Easy

If respirators are part of your company’s safety arsenal, you know how critical they are in protecting employees.

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), about five million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. These hazards can cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases or death.

Respirators protect users in two important ways. First, they remove contaminants from the air. This type of respirator includes particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges/canisters, which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean, respirable air from another source. Respirators in this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.

Respirators can save lives in the workplace. According to OSHA, if facilities comply with its Respiratory Protection Standard, hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses can be averted each year.

That’s why it’s important for employers to comply with OSHA regulations not only to avoid citations and costly fines, but also to protect your most valuable asset, your employees.

When it comes to using respirators in the workplace, those responsible for safety should know the difference between mandatory and voluntary respirator use, and provide specific procedures and processes for employees accordingly. In its Respiratory Protection Standard, OSHA provides specific detailed respiratory protection requirements that apply, depending on mandatory (emergency) use and voluntary use of a respirator.  But whether your workplace is using respirators on a mandatory or voluntary basis, you need to put a written respiratory protection program in place.

It’s important to select the right respirator for your workplace and your employees. Next, you must create and implement a respirator program that ensures their health and safetys. According to ohsonline.com, a respirator program should include the following steps:

  • Evaluate the health of employees who are required to use respirators
  • Establish fit-testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators
  • Create procedures for properly using respirators in routine and potential emergency situations
  • Implement processes and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding and otherwise maintaining respirators
  • Develop procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators
  • Train employees about the respiratory hazards that they may be exposed to during routine and emergency situations
  • Teach employees to use the respirators properly, including taking them off and on, any limitations on their use and their maintenance
  • Regularly evaluate your program’s effectiveness

These steps are critical to ensure your employees’ health and safety as well as to comply with OSHA rules. In OSHA’s list of 2017 list of Top Violations, respiratory protection ranked No. 4 with 3,118 violations cited.

Keep in mind, OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134) requires employees to be fit tested before the initial use of a respirator, as well as when a different respirator is used. If you’re required to wear a tight-fitting respirator at work this month, it’s important to have a clean shave even if you want to participate in the No-Shave November movement for cancer awareness. Facial hair can interfere with protection and is a common reason that someone can’t be fit-tested. According to studies, even a day or two of stubble can reduce effective protection. Facial hair under a sealing surface can cause 20-1,000 times more leakage than a clean-shaven face. In addition to a fit test, a worker should perform a user seal check every time he or she wears a respirator.

KC Supply offers a variety of respirators and PPE, and more. We can help you select the right respirator for your workplace and your employees. Give us a call at 800.KC.SUPPLY or visit www.kcsupply.com.  

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OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations for 2018

OSHA released its top 10 violations for 2018, and the list looks familiar because it didn’t change much from 2017.

OSHA Violations

Patrick Kapust, OSHA’s deputy director, announced the OSHA violations last week at the National Safety Council Congress in Houston. The list is based on an estimated 32,266 violations from fiscal year 2018. The violations were found by OSHA and precluded violations discovered by state enforcement agencies.

According to Kapust, “The top 10 represents the most frequently cited standards, and they are a good place to start for the employer in identifying hazards in their own workplace.”

Employers should by now be very familiar with the list. The top seven OSHA violations remained basically unchanged for the fourth year in a row, and in fact, there was only one new addition to the list from years’ past: This is the first year that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has ranked in OSHA’s top 10 violations, replacing Electrical Wiring Methods.

The top 10 list of OSHA violations for 2018 is as follows:

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements

Violations: 7,270

OSHA Standard: 1926.501

  1. Hazard Communication

Violations: 4,552

OSHA Standard: 1910.200

  1. Scaffolds – General Requirements

Violations: 3,336

OSHA Standard: 1926.451

  1. Respiratory Protection

Violations: 3,118

OSHA Standard: 1910.200

  1. Lockout/Tagout

Violations: 2,944

OSHA Standard: 1910.147

  1. Ladders

Violations: 2,812

OSHA Standard: 1926.1053

  1. Powered Industrial Trucks

Violations: 2,294

OSHA Standard: 1910.178

  1. Fall Protection

Violations: 1,982

OSHA Standard: 1926.503

*OSHA Top 10 Violations 2017 Rank: 9

  1. Machine Guarding

Violations: 1,972

OSHA Standard: 1910.212

*OSHA Top 10 Violations 2017 Rank: 8

  1. Personal Protective and Lifesaving Equipment (PPE) – Eye and Face Protection

OSHA Standard: 1926.95

Violations: 1,536

*OSHA Top 10 Violations 2017 Rank: Unranked

If you fear your facility may be committing a few of the violations on OSHA’s 2018 top 10 list, you need to act to ensure your worksite gets into compliance. Trust KC Supply Co. to help you comply with OSHA’s standards so you do not appear among the violations on next year’s list. We can provide safety and monitoring equipment, including PPE and respirators. Visit www.kcsupply.com to learn more, or call us at 800.KC.SUPPLY and we’ll be happy to answer all your compliance and safety equipment questions.

 

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