Insulating Your Way to a Safe Workplace

Do you use scissors to run? No? How about fire-playing? Not of course! And what about your pipes-are they insulated? -go to these guys Uh-oh, now I can hear the excuses-we have to do regular maintenance, or it’s expensive to reinstall insulation continuously. These are all good excuses, but they do not alter the fact that you risk your employees ‘ safety and open yourself up to legal actions and fines (not to mention the money you lose from heat loss).

Workers get hurt by un-insulated (or poorly insulated) tubes and valves every day. This leads to increased compensation rates for employees and lost work time or light duty work. And don’t think your employees like working in an environment that is unsafe. Nobody likes low employee morale and, with higher employee turnover rates and lower productivity, it will cost you in the long run.

There are many areas where missing insulation, some more dangerous than others, poses a safety hazard. Here are just three examples of the many dangerous situations with insulation that we have encountered:

Paper Making-Paper making factories use corrugators to put the boxes together. Temperatures of 377 degrees F result from the necessary steam pressure of 175 PSIG. These tubes are located two to four feet from the ground. It’s not unusual to tear off the conventional fibreglass insulation when workers get under the pipes to service them or otherwise work with them. Little insulation remains over time, and those who get close to the pipes can get badly burned.

Plywood Manufacturing-Chemical mixtures that are heated to 275 degrees F are required by Plywood. The tanks, like the steam pipes leading to them, are on the ground-where people can reach them-and they are under great pressure (and therefore at about the same temperature). Moreover, because of the required regular maintenance, control valves often lack insulation. This lack of insulation makes it easier to do maintenance, but every day, people get burned.

Steam Tunnel Walkways-Steam tunnels, with the pipes right next to them, often double as walkways. They are often found in hospital basements or multiple buildings in other older industrial complexes. Maintenance personnel (e.g. custodial staff, nursing staff, etc.) may not be individuals walking through these steam tunnels and they don’t even know that the pipes are hot. If the pipes are not insulated-and we have seen it-people can simply get hurt by brushing up against them.

Insulation management is not malicious. Instead, when they are new, hard (conventional) insulation is often on the pipes. Any sort of maintenance or measurement, however, usually requires the insulation to be pulled off. Not only does that make a mess (fibreglass is a safe hazard itself) and is costly, but it usually takes a professional to put the hard insulation back. For someone to do the replacement, the facility may wait days, weeks or months, or it may just not have the budget.

Make sure your pipes and valves are isolated and your employees safe, just as you wouldn’t run with scissors or play with fire. Without the drawbacks of conventional isolation, removable insulation covers are helpful in reducing costs.