Submitted by Steve Winicker.
LAST WEEKENDS SHOP ACTIVITY
Thursday saw the morning spent putting the shop back into a useful arrangement, gathering parts and setting up for the rest of the weekend. The day was finished by mowing some grass as it was too hot for vigorous activity.
Friday, we had a pretty good crowd WD & Carson installed washout plugs and WD checked the batteries on the tender. The inspection was not encouraging as far as battery condition was concerned. John Jaress worked on getting good seats on the four throat-sheet washout sleeves. This is proving more difficult than expected and after a full day we were yet to get the first one seated. George Butzin worked on a lube line on the trailing truck which was twisted at some point and did not look like oil would pass through it. He also installed gauges in the locomotive cab. I spent time cleaning some parts.
Saturday we were hoping for a good size crew but only had Austin, Broady, George, . They both spent the day cutting the seats on the washout plugs and hopefully got them down to good seats but they may need some additional work to get perfect seals. We did manage to get the hydro pump down from its perch. Also found time to add a few steps and other items to the locomotive.
Sunday found the temperature at a more bearable level. With a crew of Carl, we went to work on washout plugs. I found the crew had left a score mark on the left side seat, so we crawled in and worked on getting the seat flat. After much trial we did manage to get a level surface, then installed the plugs. John Keller stopped by in the afternoon and he and I put the heater in the tender so we can heat water in the boiler to 70 degrees once I get it into the boiler. We found time to start filling the tender with water.
Looks like Friday the boiler will be filled with water and we can hope no leaks are found. Realistically we will no doubt chase some leaks and hope the issues are minor. I plan to hook up the hydro pump and get things ready to pressurize the boiler. Saturday, we plan to pressurize the boiler and fix whatever leaks a process that will continue over the coming weeks.
According to OSHA, there are three characteristics of confined spaces…
- It is big enough for a person to fit his or her entire body.
- It is restrictive for the person when he or she is entering and exiting.
- The space is not meant for someone to stay in for a long period of time.
The 765’s steam space, tender interior and firebox are all prime examples of confined spaces. The upcoming boiler hydro will involve entry into the firebox and the boiler steam space.
There are many rules associated with entering a confined space but perhaps the Golden Rule of them all is Check and Monitor the atmosphere before entering. Failure to do such can became deadly.
OSHA has very specific rules for confined space entry and work. In general they can be outlined as the following…
- Monitor the atmosphere
- Eliminate or control hazards that can contaminate the air
- Continually ventilate the space
- Use proper personal protective equipment
- Isolate the space when necessary
- Have an attendant standing by at the point of entry
- Be prepared for rescues. Remove any obstructions impeding passage into and from the confined space. The dry pipe elbow is a prime and critical example.
- Plan for emergencies
- Emphasize constant communication between worker and Attendant
It’s critical that we each follow all the procedures put in place to ensure each of us goes home after the work is done. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and try to help out and yet become a victim ourselves.
SAFETY IS JOB 1
SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS