Nuclear power plant employees use one-of-a-kind portable work platform to shave nine hours off maintenance tasks
Employees at a large nuclear power plant in the eastern United States spend a lot of time working on the more than 100,000 hand-operated valves which control the flow of water and air in and out of equipment throughout the plant. When something needs to be serviced, the valves need to be turned off to isolate the equipment; however, each valve is over 10 feet in the air. Because opening, closing and performing maintenance on these valves requires the use of two hands, a crew set up scaffolding every time. Though safer than using ladders, this process was costing the company time, money and manpower. As a result, the company set up a “scaffold reduction task force,” to identify alternative solutions to this costly standby work platform.
A Perfect Solution
Separate from the task force, one of the company’s mechanics also noticed how much time was being wasted using the scaffolding. “It took four to six hours and a whole crew of people to set up the scaffolding,” said the mechanic. “And because we work in a nuclear plant, any structure that was intended to stay in place for more than a few hours required a seismic inspection to ensure it could withstand tremors from an earthquake before we were allowed to use it.”
All told, scaffolding set-up and teardown could take up to nine hours, not including the time it took to get an inspector to approve the structure. “I took it upon myself to find an alternative that would save everybody time and money,” said the mechanic. “And then I found it – JLG’s LiftPod®, a tool that I knew would be our perfect solution.”
Now, instead of needing a whole crew to set up the scaffold, the people who are working on the valves can carry the LiftPod out to the site and set it up in 30 seconds, rather than six hours. Because the valves are located in limited access areas, with very little space available and several tight corners to maneuver around, the maintenance staff could never have used even a 10-foot ladder.
In addition, since the LiftPod is only in place for the five minutes it takes to turn the valve on or off, the company also is saving the time previously spent on the scaffolding inspections. “The LiftPod works so well on the valve maintenance that we’ve started using it for other projects around the plant,” said the mechanic. “The electrical team is using it to replace light bulbs and ballasts, and the instrument and controls group is using it to perform maintenance on air valves.”
Doing More With Less
Overall, maintenance staff at the company is saving up to nine hours per valve adjustment by using the LiftPod. They are also saving money. In this economy, it’s all about doing more with less. “The LiftPod helps us do exactly that,” said the mechanic.
Find out more at: www.jlg.com
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the workplace. As you work to mitigate the dangers of falls in your facility by putting safe guards in place, keep the differences between arrest and restraint in mind: Fall arrest means to be caught while falling and fall restraint means to be restrained from falling in the first place.
Watch the 4394RT and 5394RT scissor lifts deliver the power it takes to handle uneven surfaces and congestion on job sites. This video also demonstrates a reduced setup time with the optional one-touch leveling jacks and the ability to accommodate more people and materials with a standard 4 ft deck extension.
The North Bay Stand Down is a three-day encampment for homeless and/or at-risk veterans. The veterans are provided with medical, dental, vision, recovery, housing, employment and other social services as well as food, clothing, showers, haircuts and a safe place to “stand down” for three days and two nights while our volunteers provide them with “A Hand Up”. Although this is a once a year event, funds for the event are raised throughout the year and planning takes about nine months. Our funding comes from federal, state, local and private grants and numerous donations from the community. We have grown substantially since our start in 2002 and now provide new jeans, sweatshirts and boots, as well as healthy, nutritious home-cooked meals, instead of the fast food and high-carb foods many of our homeless are used to eating. Although the Dixon Fairgrounds is provided free-of-charge, we have storage challenges and must rent much of the equipment (kitchen, forklift, vans) we need for the event. Some of our previously homeless veterans return as tent leaders to mentor those who are currently homeless. Each year, we successfully place a number of stand down attendees in transitional housing and rehabilitation programs. Numerous veterans receive the one or two services they needed to put their lives back on track and move forward. For this reason, we continue to provide our homeless veterans with “a hand up, not a hand out”
I-80 Forklift is a proud Sponsor of this event.
North Bay Stand Down • October 11, 12, 13, 2016
Plant managers can rest easy knowing their personnel are using the LiftPod to perform maintenance tasks, rather than a ladder. Thanks to the LiftPod, work around the plant can get done faster and more efficiently, while meeting OSHA safety standards. An enclosed, secure basket allows facility maintenance crew to perform tasks with both hands and 360-degree access, at heights of up to 12 and 14 feet. See the LiftPod in action at this facility.
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Rick from I80 forklift gives a tour of their parts department. Having one of the largest in California, they can save you time and money for your repairs. See more at http://www.i80forklift.com