Put Safety On Your Side: Prevent Burns With Insulation

This article was written by Rose Titcomb of Thermaxx Jackets

Do you have a Preventative Maintenance Program protecting your capital assets (equipment)? Most employers do, but how does your program protect your most important asset – your employees? How do you prevent injuries and especially how do you prevent burns? Normally we think about protecting steam lines from energy loss, but let’s turn that around and think about the risk of our personnel contacting those steam lines.

As we know, risk has 3 elements:

  • Frequency -how often we are exposed
  • Likelihood- probability of injury
  • Severity -how bad the injury will be

While contact with uncovered pipes and valves might be infrequent due to the location of the exposure, the likelihood of injury is probable and the severity of that contact is substantial and unacceptable. According to injury.com, “There is no question burn injuries are among the most traumatic- physically, emotionally and monetarily.” According to OSHA, scald and steam burns make up 35% of all burns.”

Taking preventive steps ahead of time to protect your employees will reduce risk, injury, headaches and cost. While a mechanical room full of steam and hot-water pipes can seem like a minefield to contain and protect, following OSHA’s guidelines can simplify the task: “…All exposed steam and hot-water pipes within 7 feet of the floor or working platform or within 15 inches measured horizontally from stairways, ramps, or fixed ladders shall be covered with an insulating material, or guarded in such manner as to prevent contact.“

An investment in risk reduction by insulating pipes and valves will not only create a safer work environment but also save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars of pain and suffering – for all. “… workplace burns are a very preventable source of injury. Awareness, hazard prevention and protection can dramatically lessen the risk of burns in the workplace.“

Give me a shout out and I’d be happy to assess your assets so you can protect your most important asset…
Rose Titcomb | 203-584-0631

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