- "Le Grall" Lockout/Tagout Device
"Le Grall" Lockout/Tagout Device
By: Mike Grall and Dave Lefebvre
Named after the co-inventors, these handy little devices work real well taking the place of the original flimsy plastic lockout boxes. The unit consists of a short length of conduit slid through a couple of brackets. One end of the conduit is "peened" over, so that it can only slide out of the brackets in one direction. The opposite end is drilled through so that a hasp can be locked in place preventing the conduit from being removed. This is important because hanging from the conduit is the key which unlocks all 23 locks required to lockout a sludge incinerator at GBMSD.
Typically, the treatment shift supervisor locks the key in place in this manner, with anyone else involved in the work locking onto the supervisors lock. This way, NOBODY gets at the key until all work is complete. The photo shows the two incinerator group lockout "Le Gralls" in action. The top one neatly holding all the locks/tags/hasps while the incinerator is on line, while the bottom one contains only a key. All of its locks are being used on the other incinerator which is going through a maintenance cycle.
These units can be sized to fit any location or number of locks involved.
- Device to Aid in Lifting Cast Iron Access Covers
Device to Aid in Lifting Cast Iron Access Covers
By: John Kaeppel
This device makes use of mechanical advantage and counter weight to lift heavy cast iron covers. You don't even need to bend all the way down to the cover for opening. Just grab the cable and pull up.
The cable starts near the top of the channel iron, goes down through a pulley on the cover, and proceeds over pulleys on the top of the channel iron, and down to the weight. Also notice a chain attached to the weight to hold it if the cable breaks.
- Eliminating Confined Space Entry in Industrial Pretreatment Sampling
Eliminating Confined Space Entry in Industrial Pretreatment Sampling
By: Jeff Harenda
In an effort to increase both efficiency and safety at my job I have come up with a few "tricks" to share. To perform flow composite sampling on industrial wastewater discharges without confined space entry, three things are needed. First, the facility will have to install a primary device with a built in bubble line. This can be required as stated in NR 211.15. I prefer a flume because it has less build up of solids to interfere with the bubble flow than does a weir, and more accurate head measurements can be obtained. Second, your flow meter must be the bubbler type. And last, a means of measuring head height to calibrate the flow meter. I have made a long "dip-stick" using a 15' extendible fiberglass pole with a 3' aluminum yardstick attached. Cork material applied to the back of the yardstick makes reading the water level easy.
For ease of measuring the head height, I put the "dip-stick" in the notch of the weir. This will result in some inaccuracy because of the draw down effect. However, we do not use this flow data for any kind of billing, the main idea here is to have the sampler take twice as many samples when the flow increases two fold.
Accurate head measurements can be obtained in a parshall flume. And according to "Use of Flumes in Measuring Discharges at Gauging Stations" by F.A. Kilpatrick, accurate head heights can be obtained from the throat of width reduction flumes. That is what I do in the case of a Palmer-Bowlus.
In all of the manholes I sample with primary devices, the optimum method of accurate head height measurement does not exist. For example the "ISCO Open Channel Flow Measurement Handbook" states for weirs that the head height should be measured upstream a distance of 3x maximum head.
And what about getting an oil and grease grab sample? Well, I have made a device out of readily available PVC plumbing parts to hold a glass jar. This can then be lowered into the manhole on the end of the extension pole to collect an oil and grease sample.
Again, the main thing to remember is that this is a quick and safe way of sampling. The man hour savings is obvious, I can set up a flow proportional sampler alone in less then 30 minutes. A confined space entry requires at least two people and takes a good hour by the time you mess around with all the additional equipment. And that equipment is not cheap, eliminate confined space and you save money on equipment also. The biggest savings however, just may be the liability factor.
- Improved Hazard Warning Signs
Improved Hazard Warning Signs
By: Sheboygan WWTP
There's ongoing efforts to identify confined spaces, warn people about chemicals stored in an area, inform people about things like lock-out tag-out.
The catch is...rarely does any of the signage specifically say what the entrant should look out for, precautions to follow, or anything else. Rules like confined space say people are to be trained annually on these issues....but the mandated signage for any of these programs is weak in this area.
We've gone to making special warning plates mounted in the area of hazard. The sign typically will include the likely hazards, things to check to reduce the hazard, and any other pertinant information.
The signs are made from signage plates that rely on an engraving process to remove the top layer (red), exposing the white plastic. These signs last well and are legible for years. **FOR THOSE GETTING OLDER...USE LARGER SIGNS WITH READILY VISIBLE PRINT.
These signs are also effective for providing employee directions at the site of the work. It's a quick reference that isn't forgotten. That's especially important for things like chemical systems that need correct procedures to be followed...to prevent a problem.
- Installing Flush Line for Chemical and Sludge Lines
Installing Flush Line for Chemical and Sludge Lines
By: Dean Falkner
Safety training typically highlights safe handling of chemicals or sludge. However, most systems expose employees to these materials...because there's no way to flush the line or equipment before someone services it.
The process is really simple for most positive displacement pumps with check-valve type operation or centrifugal pumps.
1. Install 2 valves on the chemical or sludge line...along with a "T" between them.
2. Connect a suitable water line with shut-off valve to the "T" in the line, step
3. You can use service water or possibly final effluent. Don't use potable water, without a suitable backflow preventor.
Set-up in this manner, you can back-flush the suction line, flush the pump, and flush the discharge line without ever exposing anyone to the chemicals or the potential pathogens of sludge.
We used to do this on troublesome lines/equipment, but it's proving to be a good approach for any lines. Best of all:..
...It's relatively inexpensive...
...It makes it easy for employees to work safer.
- Reducing Oil Slip Hazard on Finished Floors
Reducing Oil Slip Hazard on Finished Floors
By: Sheboygan WWTP
Oil leaking from equipment always poses a slip hazard. However, oil on a smooth epoxy floor or similar smooth surface will eventually result in a fall and injury.
We've tried to clean-up any oil spills and leaks. The employees do a good job, but twice employees have slipped and been injured in the last 15 years from this problem.
Adhesive backed...slip control pads can be purchased....but they create difficult to clean areas.
A local painting contractor noted that they can use an epoxy paint with aluminum oxide particulates to control the problem. The floor will be somewhat more difficult to clean...but it will not have the problems of the slip control pads.
The contractor paint/particulates solution isn't cheap...but worker comp claims and problems resulting from the loss of injured employees isn't cheap either. Between the two, we'd rather pay the contractor.
- Reducing Slip Hazards on Grating
Reducing Slip Hazards on Grating
By: Waukesha WWTP
Our clarifier catwalk has aluminum grating that runs length wise. In the winter, frost or snow makes this grating very slick, especially due to the parallel direction of the grating. We had discussed cutting the long sections and placing them perpendicular. However, the grating may have been difficult to neatly cut; could possibly weaken the grating; and would have left us short on grating. The simple solution was to sand blast the surface, thus reducing the slip hazard.
- Reducing Wet Well Entry
Reducing Wet Well Entry
By: Dean Falkner
The standard wet well design has wall mounted float switches and bubble-trol tubes. Adjusting settings or replacing the equipment requires entry into the wet well.
If this is not considered acceptable, insist on alternatives that will eliminate the task.
Float switches do not have to be wall mounted. We found ones that had a long cable, a weight, and float switch. As the level raises, the switch is activated because the weight forces the float to pivot.
A stiff mounting bracket can be bolted to the wall above the well and used to connect bubble-trol or traditional float switches.
The most recent change was requiring the use of 316 stainless steel tubing for the bubble-trol system. It should last significantly longer than the copper piping originally used.
- Staying out of Valve Pits: Adding Valve Extensions
Staying out of Valve Pits: Adding Valve Extensions
By: Sheboygan WWTP
There are hazards for entering some valve pits. Some are deep, so there is a fall potential. Others don't have ventilation, so there could be an air-quality hazard. Finally, they are small, so there is a strain potential of trying the get a tough valve to open without leverage.
The solutions are easy...and a great fill-in winter project.
For 1/4 turn valves...it's easy to make a valve operator extension. The process relies on cutting an opening in the grating, adding pipe to an existing valve operator, or buying the ends to add to a pipe...so it can be operated by a standard valve operator.
Wheel/geared valve operators add a challenge...but nothing that's too tough. Rotating the valve or the operator might be simple options. If it's looking complicated...talk to the valve company rep. They'll know your options.
A few things to consider for your project: *For really deep valve pits, an intermediate support may be desired. *Be careful that the opening for the valve extension doesn't weaken the grating. If it's in question..use some solid steel grating.