As our world changes, so do our problems. Each unique situation that arises brings with it the opportunity to implement new ideas, resulting in both successes and failures. Most of the time these ups and downs are no big deal and we roll with the punches.
But a failure on a job site can lead to fatal consequences.
We Have Solutions
At TEI Rock Drills, the Colorado-based industry leader in the manufacture of rock drill excavator attachments, limited access drill rigs, and associated components, we make safety top priority. When our team of forward-thinking engineers learned that nearly three million workplace injuries and illnesses are reported each year in the US, we knew the time had come to create some innovative safety solutions to address that problem head-on.
OSHA’s Top 10 Most Violated Standards List sites ‘Respiratory protection’ at number four, with ‘Struck by object’ and ‘Caught-in/between’ coming in not far behind. In response, TEI has created two new pieces of equipment that work in conjunction with your existing machinery to amp up your safety level to new heights.
Wherever cutting, grinding, drilling, or demolishing of hard rock occurs, the mineral quartz is released into the air. This form of crystalline silica travels in very tiny particles deep into our lungs. Depending on the duration of the exposure, the density (available air flow), and personal protective equipment used, this can, over time, cause irreparable damage to our bodies. When those particles lodge into a pair of lungs and cause scarring, deadly diseases such as silicosis, COPD, or lung cancer are often the result. Autopsies after such deaths have reported lungs that were seemingly full of sand, or hard as a rock.
Aiming to help employers comply with safety regulations regarding respirable crystalline silica, which are much stricter outside of the US, the TEI Dust Suppression System was born. Originally called the Water Mist System, “this method of direct water injection is proving to be much more efficient than the nozzle systems that are currently out there,” says Glenn Patterson, TEI’s Vice President and International Sales Manager. OSHA recommends several methods to limit worker exposure but the most effective, they say, is applying water to the airborne particles.
Equipped with a 100-gallon (378 liter) water tank, the DS10851 can provide up to 97% dust suppression for 8 to 10 hours of drill time. The system is easy to install: simply connect in-line with the air compressor. The pressure can be controlled to match flushing pressure, and water flow can be controlled to achieve the optimal water-to-air ratio for your application.
The HCC-10 Casing Handler
How many construction workers do you know that still have all ten of their fingers? Accidental – and avoidable – amputations happen on job sites with shocking regularity.
The Rod and Casing Handler is TEI’s patented excavator attachment designed specifically with safety in mind. It mounts to most any excavator and uses the auxiliary hydraulics, so no modification is needed. It comes with a simple, easy to install joystick control.
Differing in size for each drilling application, steel rods and casings are usually brought to the job site by the pallet. Each piece may be heavy or large enough that more than one worker may be necessary to move it. This can be a time-consuming process and carries certain risks. The HCC-10 Casing Handler is able to pick up the rods and casings directly from the pallet pile and efficiently maneuver them simultaneously, with the rod inside the casing, and place them into position.
The way the casing handler is able to achieve this concentricity is by the mechanism of the clamps, which are able to adjust their diameter to grip and manipulate cylindrical objects of differing sizes. It can handle casing up to 10 inches in diameter, and a handler capable of manipulating up to 20 inches has just been released as well. It’s well-planned design and ease of use make it effective across many different industries.
“What we’ve consistently seen for the companies that have employed this equipment so far is not only an increase in worker safety, but an increase in productivity as well,” says Brian Kassel, Sales Manager at Foothills Drilling Equipment, a distributor of TEI products, “The amount of time it saves is unbelievable.”
You’re familiar with the typical job site: it’s dusty or muddy, probably less than ideal terrain. It may be out in extreme weather or in a very confined space. It’s loud, there are machines and hoses and cords everywhere. It’s dangerous. And when it comes to throwing around words like silicosis, or hearing stories about workers who have lost limbs, we suddenly realize this stuff is serious.
Moving forward, TEI Rock Drills will continue to focus on maximizing efficiency while eliminating worker harm in our operations and in our products.