Submitted by Steve Winicker
LAST WEEKENDS SHOP ACTIVITY
Last week Sarah and I spent some quality time in the tender looking for leaks. Now that the slope sheet cover plate is out the two holes are evident due to the light pouring through them. Both are in the sheet that forms the side of the gear box access opening at the bend in the sheet that lines it up with the slope sheet above. It appears to me that the damage is limited to a relatively small area that is easily accessed from the gearbox access. My plan is to let Zach look at it and come up with the repair plan.
We started to make some fire brick to replace worn brick when we put it back in the firebox. I have discovered that the material we have on hand has largely reached its shelf life and is less than fully useful. I plan to purchase a few bags of new refractory and see if we can come up with a few more brick that will be needed when we fire up the engine.
The work list for the 765 is limited until we fire up again, as most issues have been taken care of. There are miscellaneous maintenance items that continue to be needed. Next weekend we can make some arch brick and polish some rods.
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 tender repairs may involve entry into the tender interior.
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 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 is 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.
The Medical community is becoming increasingly concerned with the COVID Variant from England based upon the experiences with the Variant in Europe. As the ‘original’ COVID-19 cases decline and public spaces open, there may be less emphasis on mask wearing and the following of the original recommended guidelines. That can present an opportunity for the Variant to spread as it has in in other parts of the world.
Please, for your health safety and that of others, don’t let your guard down. Continue to diligently follow the recommendations/direction of the CDC and the Health Care community and….
- Practice social distancing.
- Avoid crowds.
- Wear the proper face masks when out in the public and in the proximity of nonfamily persons.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Participate in the COVID vaccination program when it is available.
SAFETY IS JOB 1
SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS