Is Fall Protection High On Your Safety List?

Fall Protection is an important aspect of our business and we are always prepared to offer advice and quotations to help businesses install the best solutions for their requirements.

Working at height is hard enough without having to worry about what could go wrong; if the correct safety equipment is already in place then the element of risk is significantly reduced.

Many buildings were built before height safety standards were introduced. At the time it was down to the worker to make sure that they worked safely, the building’s constructors were not expected to install guardrails, anchor points or any other form of collective and fall protection equipment.

Buildings of this era have now reached a time where it is important to be able to retrofit such measures without causing unnecessary construction work in order to fit them. In some instances it is not even necessary to install a permanent system in order to make working at height a safer environment. By using a modular dead weight anchor system, such as the Kee® Anchor it becomes possible to provide a secure fixing for PPE to attached to on roofs with up to a five degree pitch.

Kee Anchor

A system such as this is ideal for a non-permanent solution for single users to perform routine maintenance safely. Indeed, it is the ideal way of securing a worker while they are installing a skylight protection system.

During some installations though, this system is less practical as the pitch of the roof is too great for the anchor be effective. While this can cause further expense during the initial phase of the upgrading process, the long-term benefits of a permanent system are worth the initial costs.

Some skylights tend to become discoloured with age and these can cause a problem that is not appreciated from ground level. The problem that can develop is that the skylight itself becomes almost camouflaged as it blends in with the surrounding roof panels, which in turn can lead to the hazard of unexpectedly falling through what was considered a ‘safe’ panel.

Even access hatchways can become a fall hazard. Again, there are ways to reduce the risk of accidents around these potentially dangerous situations. Many would argue that common sense would dictate when a worker was getting too close to an access way, but at the end of a long day even the most experienced workers can get tired and concentration slips.

Simple preventative measures can mean the difference between working safely at height and a potentially fatal accident.

The solutions exist to prevent these accidents and if permanent systems are installed they only need to be inspected at regular intervals to keep the users safe at work.

How To Protect Your Business From A Force As Powerful As Lightning

Lightning packs a powerful punch. A single bolt carries up to 100 million volts of electricity and has the power to rip through roofs, explode walls of brick and concrete, wreak havoc with circuitry and ignite deadly fires. It is no wonder experts have dubbed lightning as “the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazard experienced by most people each year.”

While lightning poses significant safety and economic concerns, there is good news for design/construction professionals and property owners. A lightning protection system that meets all applicable safety standards from the onset will ensure system reliability for the future.

Lightning systems must include the following elements:

– Strike termination network (i.e. air terminals or lightning rods);
– Down-conductor network;
– Grounding electrode network;
– Equipotential bonding network; and
– Surge protection devices (for all incoming power, data, and communication lines).

Harcon Services provide a complete solution, including a full audit, inspection, and testing service. All of our installations are designed to your specification, yet still able to comply with BSEN 62305 and BS7430. Our experienced technicians can do everything from risk assessment, installation, and commissioning of the grounding and lightning protection.

Call us on 0161 777 4230 to discuss your requirements.

Lightning Protection for the Safe Storage of Chemical Tanks

Utmost caution must be taken when working with hazardous materials. It isn’t something that should be taken lightly. This explains why there are tons of regulations governing plants and handling of toxic materials. Safety is given first priority. Surprisingly, these regulations do not define how these materials should be protected from lightning. Unfortunately, lightning is a natural event capable of causing a lot of damage such as lose of property, extended downtime as well as loss of life. For example, a fire caused by lightning has resulted in lose of life and property because it takes longer to control.

Organisations and individuals have a reason to be concerned about lightning protection. Recent research studies focusing on climate change reveal that strikes of lightning will become more and more prevalent. Going by the increasing number of lightning incidents witnessed over the past few years, storage terminal operators should take it upon themselves to make sure that their storage tanks are down to earth.

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer of LEC (Lightning Eliminators and Consultants), Avram Saunders, lightning isn’t something that should be taken for granted. A 6% increase in the lightning strikes is predicted by the climate change researchers for every degree of change in the global temperature. A separate study indicated that these attacks are expected to double in the next 20 to 40 years.

In 2006, research performed by Liverpool John Moores University blamed 61% of all accidents in the storage and processing industry on lightning. Fast forward in 2011, a report done by Lloyds & Insurance Information Institute showed a 15% rise in losses associated with lightning – between 2009 and 2010.

Benefits of lightning protection

An evaluation of the cost of recovering from losses caused by lightning strikes shows why it is imperative to take precautionary measures. Tank fires resulting from lightning strikes can cost operators millions of pounds in terms of terminal downtime, product loss, regulatory penalties, and fines, liability as well as equipment damage and loss. Lives can even be lost in extreme cases. Of course, no amount of money can restore lives of humans. On the other hand, if efforts are made to protect the facility, the company wouldn’t have to spend as much money as the one needed to recover losses. Most importantly, lives would be saved.

What is the way forward? The electrical potential of the structure of the tank should be kept the same as the earth it sits on. The management should focus its efforts on the installation of a system that can deliver on this basic premise. Professionals in lightning protection must be involved to secure the facility altogether.