TIP #1: HAZARD IDENTIFICATION + RISK ASSESSMENT + CONTROL MEASURES
In an aluminum casthouse environment, hazard assessment is key in preventing health and safety incidents. Quality-driven casthouse managers understand that safety starts with educating and training each employee on all of the potential hazards of an aluminum casthouse, not just the hazards posed by an employee’s specific job functions. When all team members are practicing standard operating procedures properly and consistently, safety becomes the foundation of a casthouse’s operation and the likelihood of an incident is drastically reduced.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, hazards are present in nearly every job. The riskier the job, the greater the hazards will be — and working with molten aluminum is no exception. Due to the highly reactive (and explosive) nature of molten aluminum, working in a casthouse must be carefully and methodically planned. Therefore, it’s vital for plant managers and owners to understand how to identify hazards, gauge the associated risks, and determine how to properly control those risks in their daily operations. One careless move could end operations… and, even, end lives.
At Almex, we take safety dead seriously. In fact, our patented equipment and technology are developed with three key principles in mind: SAFETY, PERFORMANCE, and SIMPLICITY. Our goal as a brand is to provide Furnace to Finish™ solutions that provide a safer and more productive workplace for every one of our customers, because we believe that a safe casthouse is a quality casthouse.
We hope to continue our efforts in promoting a safe, incident-free work environment with our infographic below that provides general guidelines for more effective 1. Hazard Identification, 2. Risk Assessment, and 3. Control Measure Management. (Click the infographic below to enlarge the image.)
PPE is vital for keeping casting crew members safe in a foundry environment. Studies show that properly selected and worn PPE significantly reduced the injuries sustained by casthouse workers involved in molten metal incidents — from minor splashes to catastrophic explosions — not to mention the many lives that have been spared, thanks to PPE.
To learn more about why PPE is important, how to properly select PPE for your casthouse, and the basics of implementing a PPE policy in your facility, check out the infographic below.
Recent advances in technology have enabled casthouses to re-engineer their approaches to a number of hazards present in an aluminum casthouse. In addition to commonly considered “machine safety” factors such as e-stop functions, safety devices, or guarding mechanisms, a comprehensive analysis must be used in order to fully realize the safety advantages of technology in a foundry environment. For example, Almex’s CASTRIGHT II™ Control and Automation System boasts a number of safety features which help casthouse operators in their management of safety hazards.
Moisture in a casthouse environment is like an open flame around gasoline — it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Ask anyone who has survived a molten metal explosion, it’s really no joking matter.
Many casthouse incidents happen when workers become complacent or careless with their jobs, forgetting how unforgiving molten aluminum is when it is mishandled. In order to reduce the risk and occurrence of molten metal explosions, it’s adamant that all employees are properly trained on the hazards present in an aluminum casthouse environment, particularly how and why explosions happen.
To help get the ball rolling, we’ve constructed an infographic on the basics of molten aluminum explosions and moisture management.
One of the key elements in maintaining casthouse safety is through preventative measures that reduced the likelihood of an incident occurring — in other words, best practices. In the aluminum industry, such standards are highly enforced due to the hazardous realities of working with molten aluminum. It’s when there is a break in the system that unfortunate incidents occur, which is why targeting best practices on a daily basis is crucial to the safety and prosperity of aluminum casthouses.
Take a look at the infographic below to get an idea of the basic best practices that every casthouse should strive to achieve.
Every casthouse should maintain safety policies & procedures that are catered to its unique needs in addition to statutory and regulatory obligations. One size does not fit all, here. The information listed above should be considered a general guideline for risk assessment and should not be considered legal advice nor comprehensive in nature.
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