It’s hard for people who work outside an Industrial context to understand just how important safety protocols are in manufacturing plants, power generation facilities, and other industrial sites. When a group of employees are constantly working with powerful equipment, caustic chemicals, combustible materials, and high temperatures, a lot of time, effort, and thought must go into keeping those employees safe. Things get even more complicated when an outside Industrial Services provider comes on site to perform maintenance, cleaning, or repairs on equipment. Achieving unity between the service provider’s safety policies and the facility’s rules is essential in order to prevent injury, no matter how inconvenient it may seem. Cutting corners or ignoring policies can lead to severe yet preventable incidents.
A Dust Vacuuming Project at a Steel Mill
Industrial services providers regularly vacuum dust buildup from coal facilities and other industrial complexes. Recently, a client asked us to help with vacuuming dust that had accumulated on overhead cranes at a steel mill. This was a particularly difficult task, since the surfaces of the cranes were very hard to reach from below. The motivation for the client to ask Thompson Industrial Services for help was a safety failure on the part of a different contractor that had already begun the same project. After a mishap occurred with the vacuum equipment that the contractor was using, a technician had to be rushed to the hospital with an injury to his arm. Subsequent investigation into the problem showed that the team not only had been working without a key piece of safety equipment in place, but that following the injury, other technicians continued using the same unsafe practices that had led to the accident.
The Safety Pressure Is On
Whenever a team from Thompson Industrial Services is working on a client’s site, the technicians are conscious that managers and safety officers are watching them. But when we are called in to take over a project that has already seen an injury due to unsafe practices, the pressure is even greater—the expectations are very high for our team to do everything “by the book,” and it takes a lot to put that nervous facility manager’s mind at ease again.
|One of our powerful, efficient vacuum trucks on the job|
In this particular case, our team took over vacuuming the dust buildup from the overhead cranes, which was up to three inches deep in places. It didn’t take too long for the client to realize just how committed our technicians are to following every applicable safety procedure, using well-maintained, advanced equipment to safely remove the dust without placing our employees or the employees of the steel mill in danger.
Safe, Fast Results in Industrial Services
Not only did our expert team complete the dust removal project with no further safety incidents, but they actually reduced the time needed for the job by half. This dramatic reduction in downtime is a common pattern with the jobs handled by Thompson Industrial Services, usually due to the use of automated equipment that can perform tasks much more quickly and completely than a technician using manual tools. The accelerated timeframe saved the client several thousand dollars, a result that was quite a welcome relief after the disastrous injury and safety violations that had characterized the first phase of the project before Thompson Industrial Services took over. While they were on site, our team even had time during their single day of service to perform some additional minor tasks of benefit to the client, demonstrating the genuine concern of our entire team to help our valued clients as much as possible while we are working at their facility.
Be Safe, Be Good, Be Great
At Thompson Industrial Services, we believe that it is impossible for us to achieve the second and third parts of our motto (“be good, be great”) unless the first part is firmly in place. No facility should be expected to trust an industrial services provider to do a great job with their equipment unless they see that they first take all the necessary steps to protect the people doing the work. That’s the assurance we have been providing our clients with for decades, and it’s why they love working with us.