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April Tip of the Month

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Properly Clean Equipment

Cleaning equipment can be the worst part of the job. It is typically done right before a break, lunch, or at the end of a shift when fatigue is high. While it is often tedious it can be dangerous and is one of the most important tasks performed on a refractory job site. It is important from a safety, quality, and productivity standpoints.

Properly cleaning out mixing, pumping, and shooting equipment can be dangerous. Failure to recognize the hazards associated with the task can lead to severe injuries. It is critical to always ensure that equipment is de-energized and locked out prior to beginning cleaning. The energy source on equipment can be electric, gas/diesel, pneumatic, hydraulic, or a combination of all the above. Always respect the power of the equipment you are cleaning and pay particular attention to potential pinch points. Be sure that the co-workers in your area are aware that the equipment is being cleaned. Lastly, be aware of how and where the water and leftover materials will be disposed of prior to beginning the cleaning process.

Adequately performing this task also sets the next shift or the next project up for success. Not properly cleaning the equipment can cause damage or delays the next time the equipment is used. It is important to clean these items immediately after use before the materials set up in order to reduce the effort required to complete the task.

Lastly, thoroughly cleaning the equipment is important to project quality in that it prevents cross-contamination of materials. Cross contamination can cause materials to set too fast or too slow and can negatively impact the as-installed properties of the materials traveling through the equipment.

For more tips and information on how to make your next project safe and successful, please reach out to Schad today.

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