Some of the most dangerous threats to worker safety arise from surprisingly mundane circumstances.
Across grain handling and railcar unloading operations, aging equipment, material challenges and even the simple physics of transportation can all present workers with potentially dangerous conditions. Even something as basic as opening a boxcar door could lead to a serious injury if done incorrectly and with the wrong equipment. These challenges impact efficiency too.
At Arnold Company, our focus on maintenance, safety and repair helps us provide a wide array of solutions to many industries. Over the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to deliver many systems that improve worker safety on-site and deliver enhanced outcomes with improved worker efficiency for businesses.
Lessons and Takeaways From Successful Projects in 2022
Let’s explore some of the lessons learned over the past year, then consider how companies such as yours can take proactive steps to make 2023 an even safer year of successful work.
Improving Material Flow in Challenging Environments
Rail is a major mode of transportation for an incredible number of industrial raw materials, including ammonium nitrate. However, ammonium nitrate, in the form most commonly used for shipping, is very prone to physical changes caused by temperature differences.
Railcar equipment becomes caked with solidified chunks of the material. This makes unloading cars extremely slow and tedious, with one of our clients sometimes needing entire workdays to unload one car with air lances and manual hammering on the car’s sides. Luckily, we were able to improve material flow with Railcar Vibration.
To avoid inefficiencies and harm to the longevity of the equipment, our client was able to experience incredible improvements in productivity by employing our innovative line of railcar vibrators. Using powerful pneumatic vibrations to shake loose caked material extends the life of the cars, keeps workers away from danger zones and speeds up unloading operations all at once. In the end, we removed the strain of manual hammering from workers and redirected their labor to more valuable tasks.
Opening Boxcar Doors Safely Without Damage
Boxcar doors can present a hazard to workers during unloading when loads shift in transit and because of damage to the opening mechanism itself. A Florida-based manufacturer experienced consistent slowdowns and unnecessary hazards due to these ongoing problems.
Arnold Company stepped in to improve operator safety and prevent boxcar damage. An initial trial with the Arnold Company Door Buster, a forklift-mounted unit that allows for easy boxcar opening without exposing workers to direct harm, proved successful.
Ultimately, the client equipped their facility with seven American-built Door Busters and continues to enjoy better productivity. Removing workers from hazard zones should be a major focus for your business in 2023. With equipment that streamlines operations and makes it safer to handle aged, damaged boxcars, it’s a clear choice for operational efficiency and reliability.
Reduce Strain and Increase Speed With Hopper Gate Openers
Moving material to and from grain storage often requires special grain hopper equipment, whether railcars or trucks. Opening hopper gates can be very difficult, and many job sites lack the right tools for safe opening. Many ad hoc solutions crop up using tools meant for other purposes. These choices both maintain a slower pace of operation and continually expose workers to the risk of both accidental injury and repetitive strain or motion injuries.
Arnold Company introduced a durable solution for challenging unloading tasks.
We engineered a hopper trailer opener that improves ergonomics and reduces the effort needed to make grain transfers. Consider how much of a difference a simple change like this could make in the next year for your business. Rather than the exhausting and demanding work of manually cranking hopper gates, you could equip teams with automated, powered equipment that effectively replaces manual labor.
By speeding up the unloading process, employees can accomplish more while decreasing safety risks that affect productivity and efficiency, making this a potential win across the board.
Find Proven Help for Building Better Business Safety Plans
When was the last time you had the opportunity to review and improve your existing worker safety plans and programs? With another year of lessons to draw upon, the start of 2023 offers an excellent chance to identify areas where you can make improvements to safety and efficiency through better equipment and procedures.
Both Arnold Company and our sister business, Arnco Safety, provide far-reaching solutions for gas detection and dust monitoring, safety training and equipment for innovative refreshes of existing safety plans.
Contact an Arnold Company representative for more information today!