NWD Electrical Services - giving the customer more can really pay off ...
Recently the Northwest Electrical Services division, has been busy building numerous "Cluster Racks" for a multi million dollar farming business spanning thousands of acres of prime farm land in and around the Tri-Cities area.
Two years ago during an expansion, the company needed to purchase new racks to supply power/control to some new circles. A Circle applies water/fertilizer to the soil via nozzles placed in a strait line piping arrangement, from a fixed center point. From that center point out are "Towers", which have two wheels and a Gearmotor to allow movement. The racks are placed in a convenient location providing the best access for the farm managers and his crew to troubleshoot & maintain them. Each rack has a Meter Base & Main Disconnect feeding a Control Panel (built & designed by H & N). Power from the Control Panel feeds individual receptacles, to run two pumps and one agitator per circle. The other side of the rack has the Valley Mfg./Customer supplied panels for individual Circle control. A beacon on the Control Panel alerts passing farm personnel of malfunctioning/tripped control. Individual lights by each Valley panel indicate which circles are running at the moment.
The farm has over 650 Circles located throughout its vast expanse of acreage. When ?H&N was given the opportunity to quote the new racks our lead Panel Shop foreman, worked closely with the farm management to put together a new design. It would have been easy to just "copy" the old rack design currently in use, however we pointed out several key flaws. One of these flaws posed a real safety hazard for the customer, and was also a UL panel violation if copied.
Taking the time to "re-design" the existing rack highly impressed the farms managers/operators, allowing H & N to get the order for 10 new racks. Since then H & N has built a total of 50 racks with the prospect of many more in the future. In the last batch of units, they started replacing some of the existing older racks, going instead with the new design upgrade. "I know that had H&N not provided such a great design for them, we would not be seeing this new standardization from the customer, directly leading to an ongoing business model for several years to come".
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Care
PPE is sometimes the only barrier between employees and workplace hazards. When PPE isn’t properly maintained, it’s likely to become worn or damaged, thus rendering the PPE significantly less effective in protecting the employee against hazards. Ensure you inspect PPE before each use, store and clean your PPE properly, and discard and replace damaged PPE. Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right track:
Heads up on hard hat care.
- Clean hard hats regularly with warm water and soap, and allow to air dry
- Store head protection out of the sun, away from extreme temperatures, and in a safe place
- Check the headband for signs of wear and ensure it fits comfortably on the head
- Replace a hard hat if it is cracked, dented, or has taken a heavy blow
Keep an eye on safety eyewear maintenance.
- Clean safety glasses and goggles regularly with a lens wipe or mild soap and water
- If using a cloth or paper towel, wash lenses with water before wiping to prevent scratching and blow dust and grit from lenses before wiping
- Store eye protection in a clean and safe place to avoid getting scratched or damaged
- Replace glasses if frames are bent, and replace goggles if headbands are loose, twisted, knotted, or worn. Replace any kind of eye protection if lenses are scratched or pitted and impair vision
Now hear this! Take good care of hearing protection!
- Wipe earmuffs with a damp cloth after each use, store in a safe place, and replace cushions when they lose their resilience
- Wash reusable earplugs every day if possible, store in a clean case or bag, and replace if plugs are hard or discolored
- Wipe canal caps (headband plugs) with a damp cloth after use, store in a safe place to avoid bending or twisting, and replace if the band is damaged and no longer fits comfortably
Breathe easy with well-maintained respirators.
- Check for holes, cracks, deterioration, and any other problems
- Store in a safe location, protected from dust, light, heat, cold, moisture, and chemicals
- When not in use, store so that rubber and plastic parts are in a normal position and hold their shape
- Clean according to manufacturer’s specifications – contact the safety director if you are unsure of how to clean your respirator
Lend a hand to keep gloves in good shape.
- Keep gloves clean and dry
- Have a backup pair in case gloves get wet or damaged
- Check for holes, cracks, and other damage before each use
- Replace worn or damaged gloves – immediately discard damaged gloves
Put your best foot forward for foot protection.
- Wipe wet or soiled shoes with a clean cloth or paper towel
- Air out work shoes after work, and check regularly for signs of damage or wear
- Have worn or damaged shoes repaired, or replace them