We can’t get away from them – computers are everywhere, from the washing machine to the car it seems everything is now run by a computer and with the exponential rate they are advancing there is probably more computing power in the average mobile phone than NASA used to put a man on the moon.And that has always been a problem for industry, as unlike other areas that computers have to function in, such as the home or office, computers in industry have to be manufactured to a robust standard and have to deal with all sorts of hostile environments from dust filled warehouses and baking hot furnaces to soaking wet production lines and deep freeze lockers.Most industry computers are specially made, designed specifically for whatever environment they are to be used in, whether by being intrinsically sealed for dusty or hazardous atmospheres or being air-conditioned or heated to control extreme temperatures.Whilst these industrial computers can function perfectly well they are highly expensive and replacing them can cost, not just in replacing the PC but also in downtime during the re-installation.And that is why industry has always struggled to keep up with the ever increasing advances in technology – in fact many industrial computers have been in use for a decade and contain very old operating systems and couldn’t cope with modern ones.Whilst this may make many industrial PCs quite stable, running ten-year-old technology does mean many manufacturing processes are not running as efficiently or using the latest software developments as they should be.Of course, the time eventually comes when a complete upgrade can no longer be put off and the industrial machines are ripped out and replaced costing a fortune in replacement units and production downtime.This has always been a catch-22 for industry, weighing up the cost of upgrading compared with the possible improvements to production an upgrade will bring but there is an alternative.For several years industrial computer enclosures have been designed and manufactured that can house a conventional PC yet still provide the robustness of that of a conventional industrial machine.These enclosures are made from all types of material including food-grade stainless steel and can be used in all hazardous and hostile environments from dust and explosive atmospheres to wet rooms, furnaces and freezers.As well as being far less expensive than buying a bespoke industrial computer these enclosures have allowed industry to use conventional low cost PCs in environments that they could normally not function in. Furthermore it is now possible to replace and upgrade machines in a matter of minutes whilst still using the same enclosure and reducing production downtime.
A safe workplace requires a commitment to supply workers with the industrial products and industrial apparel that they need and the know-how to use them. This commitment will foster a safety culture that produces tangible results with a lower incident rate and higher employee morale.Tip #1: Providing The Tools Needed To Do The Job SafelyThe old saying about using the right tool for the right job applies to personal protective equipment as well. Industrial apparel is key to complete a comprehensive set of PPE for any job site.First, make sure every worker is wearing well-fitting clothing. Anything too loose can get caught in machinery or any moving parts and cause severe injuries. Clothing that is too tight will restrict range of motion and can lead to a different set of accidents. A uniform service is one good option to ensure every worker gets the right fit and the right industrial apparel.A safe workplace also goes beyond basic industrial apparel. Many industries have potential hazards that are best addressed by industrial products that workers wear. For example, flame-resistant industrial products and clothing are a staple in the petroleum industry and on any job site with flammable materials and even high-tension wires. Flame-resistant PPE protects workers from a sudden discharge of intense heat or flames, allowing them to evacuate or be rescued. In fact, standard industrial apparel will actually melt or continue to burn if worn when a flash fire occurs.Tip #2: Stay Visible, Say AliveOn-the-job clothing will also provide visibility on outdoor job sites or any low-light environment. Road crews can appreciate how vulnerable they would be on the side of the road at night without high visibility industrial products, vests, and trousers. The retro-reflective strips on high visibility equipment will allow nighttime visibility up to a quarter of a mile.Tip #3: Taking The Risk Out Of Working With Hazardous MaterialsSome jobs require handling materials that are hazardous; this aspect of the job cannot be avoided. However, a wide range of industrial products are designed to protect workers who have to come into contact with chemicals and other harmful substances. These include face shield attachments for hard hats, and safety goggles to stop liquids from splashing into the face and eyes. Latex, rubber, and nitrile gloves form a protective barrier for the hands. Splash suits and waterproof industrial apparel help protect the body from coming into contact with hazardous materials.The major difficulty of working with harmful substances is that each chemical has to be handled differently. There is no universal procedure for staying safe in these situations, so communication and information is paramount. Signage and labeling on every container, drum, and tank as to their contents, handling instructions, required PPE, and first aid is necessary. All of this information should also be maintained with Material Safety Data Sheets for review before starting a job.Tip #4: Planning For EmergenciesThough we design our job sites to be accident free, we still have to prepare for incidents. Emergency planning and drilling is essential for managing emergency situations safely and effectively.Emergency planning, at the basic level, should consist of two parts. First, lines of communication have to be established to share information during an emergency. This includes an alarm system for first responders and a chain of command to alert supervision and emergency personnel if needed. Second, evacuation plans have to be practiced to ensure the plant can be cleared in an orderly manner. A mad rush for the door is liable to cause injuries.Tip #5: Providing First Aid Industrial ProductsSome larger plants and job sites have in-house medical staff to provide basic medical services. However, most companies rely on basic first aid measures and a call to 911 for any serious injuries. First aid industrial products have to be supplied for workers in order to handle minor injuries and major accidents alike.OSHA and ANSI have put together standards for what a fully equipped first aid kit should contain. Every employer should purchase enough of these kits in order to supply first aid materials to every person in every work area. This is easy to maintain since the kits are sold in 25-person supply or 50-person supply sizes. Every worker needs to be informed where these kits are located and how to use them to provide first aid.
The last seven decades of phosphate strip-mining seriously scared the central Florida landscape. One can see West Central Florida’s environmentally unique landscape is under attack by Florida’s phosphate industry officials for the phosphate ore it holds. In the past seventy years, the phosphate industry in West Central Florida has strip-mined for phosphate ore in (1) Hillsborough, Polk, Hardee, and Charlotte counties. The land is stripped some 30 to 50 feet in depth over 4000 non-contiguous square miles which include all phosphate operations in Florida as a whole. That is one big hole. Meaning, the phosphate industry owns more land in central Florida than the total land mass in the great State of Rhode Island.Needless to say, the phosphate industry in Florida controls the lion’s share of property in West Central Florida, including unique ecosystems of national significance. The property owned by the phosphate industry includes the mineral rights as well. However, natural freshwater resource rights (riparian resources) are treated differently than mineral rights by Florida law. Riparian waterways traversing industry property are not owned by the phosphate industry, they are held by the state of Florida in this case, and are considered public waterways. If the riparian waterways are public waterways, then how is the phosphate industry consuming billions of gallons of fresh aquifer water for free?Historically, phosphate mining and reclamation of existing mined lands alter the timing and magnitude of surface water runoff, surface water storage, recharge, and evaporation. All of these factors contribute to changes in landscape hydrology and ecology within the Peace River basin (3). All the relevant environmental variables change for the worst when collecting data from reclaimed mined lands.In reclaimed mined lands, rainwater no longer seeps through the landscape as before stripping the land because the soils are now packed tightly, (2) so water just runs off instead of soaking into the landscape. Water storage is then affected because water can no longer drain down into the aquifers, so the aquifer system levels decrease as well. The natural recharge rate for the aquifers is slowed or stopped completely.When the water cannot seep down into the aquifers, fresh drinking water is adversely affected as well, because the filtering, “percolation” of rainwater through the earthen materials cleans the water. Percolation is a critical natural process. Percolation is altered or completely disrupted in reclaimed mined lands. So when the process of rainwater “percolation” is interrupted, all freshwater resources in the area decline, causing habitat destruction and aquifer formation destruction.One such case played out in Hornsby Springs, north of Gainesville, Florida. Florida’s phosphate officials demanded so much water from local aquifer and springs, the spring stopped flowing and cost over one million dollars of taxpayer dollars trying to repair the environmental damage without success. The spring was about 80 feet in depth. Once the spring failed, almost 50,000 visitors a year stopped coming because what is left of the spring is now polluted..Again one can see the socioeconomic fabric being “stripped” from the public without any financial responsibility by the industry that caused the environmental impact to begin with.Another example of the phosphate industries severe environmental impacts is Kissengen Springs in Polk County, Florida. Investigation results found that the phosphate industry was to blame because they over pumped the aquifers. The spring flow volume before the phosphate industry interfered was about 30 million gallons a day of clean, clear fresh aquifer water. Once again the phosphate industry did nothing to remedy this severe environmental impact they caused and the visitors stopped coming so the local economy failed as well.Why would the state of Florida allow the phosphate industry to strip away Florida’s riparian (public water) waterways? Waterways such as rivers, streams, springs, aquifers, wetlands, and water tables are completely removed from the face of the earth. Florida’s phosphate industry officials cause severe environmental damage without paying a dime, including bankrupting entire towns in its unending collateral damage for phosphate to fertilizer production.Reference1. MINING: Army Corps tries to assess impacts of sprawling phosphate – eenews.net/stories/1059947830.
2. One Percent: Mining Bone Valley | Scenario Journal. – scenariojournal.com/article/one-percent-mining-bone-valley/.
3. Peace River Cumulative Impact Assessment -.swfwmd.state.fl.us/waterman/peaceriver/.