To win an Innovation
Award, a company must submit documentation of unique safety
practices or tools that the company has implemented. Of six
submitted Innovation Award applications, three earned top honors.
George J. Igel & Co., Inc. is being recognized for the development of the “Manhole Casting Lift.”
In utility work,
employees are faced with the hazard of setting manhole castings
which can weigh more than 250 pounds. Traditionally, two employees
would lift the casting and carry it to the open manhole. This
exposed them to awkward positions, immense back strain and the
possibility of pinched or smashed hands or fingers.
Looking for a safer
way, an Igel pipe foreman and pipe field operations supervisor
worked with the engineering and mechanics shop to design and
fabricate a lifting device that would reduce some of the safety
They used a
one-inch square stock of aluminum tubing and welded a D-ring to the
center. The tubing is also welded to a parallel tube with two
locking devices that allow the lift to be attached to the casting.
This innovation can be used with equipment to move the casting into
place mechanically, or it can be picked up and carried manually.
Using the lift,
crews have eliminated 25 inches of side bend and all potential for
pinched, or smashed hands or fingers. If the D-ring is used with
equipment, virtually all safety concerns are eliminated as casting
is not lifted off the ground far enough to create a hazard to
From left: Craig Hickman, pipe field operations,
and Dave Saxour, pipe foreman
Speer Mechanical was selected to receive an Innovation Award for development of the “Cord Saver.”
This innovation protects extension cords and welding leads from being closed upon or pinched in a doorway.
The Cord Saver is made of a heavy gauge sheet metal that can withstand a large door closing repeatedly, or being stepped on or kicked throughout the workday. The door can close against the cord saver without damaging the door or frame, and several cords will fit inside the device.
Speer employees in the sheet metal shop designed and fabricated the cord saver in bright yellow or orange for enhanced visibility and safety. The sides and bottom are sprayed with black truck-bed liner to protect doors, door frames and floors from damage.
The sprayed-on coating also provides a gripping texture to the outside of the cord saver, which helps it stay in place when the door is opened or the cords are jostled.
In addition to protecting cords, the cord saver also protects a company against an OSHA citation for violating the standard requiring that all flexible cords and cables be protected from accidental damage. The penalty starts at a minimum fine of $1,500.
Matt Johnston, sheetmetal shop foreman; Corey Hauer,
sheetmetal shop journeyman; Fred Bothwell, safety coordinator
Supply Company earned an Innovation Award for development of the “Motorized Transfer Cart.”
In a steel fabrication shop, transporting materials can be extremely difficult with a high risk for injury. Typically, transfer carts with thousands of pounds of steel, up to 60-feet long are pushed through the shop using a forklift or manual labor. Either scenario creates hazards for the employees and can be an inefficient use of manpower.
Suburban Steel employees were determined to find an alternative method for transporting steel. By powering existing transfer carts with battery operated motors and gear reducers, employees are able to walk beside the cart and activate the motor with a hand held controller.
The motorized carts have a safety laser scanner on the front and rear of each unit, and will automatically stop the movement of the cart if it senses a person or object in its path.
The motorized transfer cart has significantly reduced forklift use inside the fabrication shop and has eliminated manual pushing of carts entirely. The risk of forklift incidents, slip/trip falls, and back strains/sprains has been minimized, while productivity and efficiency has been improved.
the innovation team are, from left: Chuck Boster, Brett
Walters, Jerry Henderson, Kevin Cochran, and Dan Cayton all
with Suburban Steel Supply Company.
Each of the BX Safety Achievement Award winners were first judged anonymously by North American Industry Classification System Codes
(NAICS) on the merits of the company’s safety record. Information about the company’s workplace injury and illness statistics, experience modification rate
(EMR) and incident severity were all considered.
Selected companies then received an unannounced site visit where a team of BX judges evaluated safety practices in
action of each of the selected companies.
Anderson Concrete Corp.
Buckeye Ready-Mix, LLC
Continental Building Systems
Custom Air Conditioning and Heating Co.
George J. Igel &
Lend Lease (US) Construction, Inc.
Lincoln Construction, Inc.
Mid-City Electric / Technologies
Pepper Construction Company of Ohio, LLC
Company Sign Division, Inc.
Sauer Group, Inc.
Settle-Muter Electric, Ltd.