tarp pgs 54-55

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  1. 1. 54 November-December 2014TarpsandJob SiteSafetyby Jay Kinder, founder and CEOof Strong Man Safety ProductsIf you live in the eastern part of the country, there arethree sure signs winter is on the way. First, the activ-itylevel of squirrels intensifies as they hustle nutsinto storage for the winter. Second is the proliferation ofChristmas decorations that go up in stores before all theHalloween candy has even been counted. And the thirdsign winter is on the way? Up, up, up go the winter tarpson construction sites.Most contractors consider tarps something of a neces-saryevil. Theyd rather not go to the expense of buyingand installing construction tarps, but they know that oncethe weather turns, they cant afford to have productionslow down.The good newsis that construc-tiontarps serve adual purpose. Thefirst and mostobvious is thatthe heavy tarpsused to cover largestructural open-ingskeep the ele-mentsout. Whenthe wind startswhipping and athick rain/sleetcombo rages in ata 90-degree angle,the pace of workslows as handsand feet go numb.Tarps enclose theworking environ-ment,keeping itwarm so workmay continue without a hitch.The second purpose of tarpswhich isnt always asobviousis that the right tarps provide an additional levelof safety to any job site. This safety factor is spread acrossmany levels, as described below:Safety to passersby. In the winter months, tarps replacedebris netting for perimeter protection. Common sensetells us that when a building is tightly wrapped, nothingcan fall out of it -- good news for the people passingwho would be less than thrilled to see a hammerwinging its way off a top floor toward them.Safety to workers. Staying warm while you work isnta luxury; its a safety necessity. Try working in a freezing wind, with your face and hands losing their feeling,and see how strong your levels of attention and concentration remain to the task at hand. Losing concentrationon a construction site can result in seriousinjuries, especially by those using power tools.Nobody wants that to happen!Another measure of safety to workers is simplyhaving a barrier between them and the edge of anopen structure. Accidents happen on occasion and astrong tarp makes trips and falls not just improbable,but nearly impossible.And, of course, just as we mentioned for pedestriansafety, having a building wrapped in tarps alsoprovides safety from falling debris for workers onlower levels of the job site.Fire Retardancy. Tarps are often in close contactwith fire exposures, such as industrial heaters andwelding and other equipment that produces sparks.The NFPA 701 Method II standard mandates that,once a flame source is removed, tarp material mustbe extinguishable in two seconds or less.
  2. 2. November-December 2014Everyone knows that ignorance of the law is noexcuse. This book from BNi youll never have toguess again. Imagine, all those years of Mr. Acretsexperience in one handy volume. Americas mostprominent Construction Lawyer is yours to have atyour disposal for just $72.95!$72.95 (1557013926)National ConstructionLaw ManualLearn key legal issues in constructionWritten expressly forthe constructionprofessional in alanguage that ALLcan understand55Of course, not all tarps are created equal, and itsperhaps because of this that contractors may feel less thanaffectionate toward the time of year that requires themto bring in tarps to the job site. Lets take a closer look atwhats required of tarps to provide the safety and warmththey promise. In other words, how can you know that a tarpis going to deliver?TestingThe first thing to look for is testing. Have the tarpsyoure purchasing been tested by an independent third-partywho can verify, for example, that the tarp meets thestandard for self-extinguishing in two seconds or less? Hasthe tensile strength of the tarp been tested and does it liveup to its promises?AlignmentAt Strong Man, weve used the same factory to produceour tarps for the past 30 years. That way, we know whenwe sell our tarps that the tie-off points match up: D-Ring toD-Ring, grommet to grommet, everything aligns for a tightfit. Why does this matter? Just ask a construction worker.Without being able to line up your tarps and tie-off points,the tarp will allow in more cold air than it keeps out.Move the Project ForwardThe primary reason a tarp needs to do what it says itdoes is for the simple reason that time is money. Installinga tarp costs time and labor. When a contractor selects aninferior product, hidden, back door expenses start pilingon. Cheaply made tarps that can rip or shred in heavy windor snow, or may have grommets that dont line up and letin wind and rain or worseoffer the chance for tools toescape and fall, are the real safety dangers. Lost time dueto weather and injuries means a delayed completion date,and greater chance for accidents as time goes by.The right tarps pay for themselves in safety, warmth andpeace of mind. And, lest you think tarps are the prerogativeof east coast builders only, we recently provided tarps fora hospital in California that didnt want to take any chanceon falling behind schedule because of the elements.Last year, the winter was so bad that our company soldout of all but two SKUs of tarps. What will this year hold?According to The Farmers Almanac, were in store for an-othercold year. So when you see tarps go upand if youhavent yet, you soon willremember that, even if the sunis still shining, its a sure sign winter is on the way.Jay Kinder is the founder and CEO of Strong Man SafetyProducts, a manufacturer of heavy-duty, all-seasons net-tingsand tarps for debris and weather enclosures. Since1974, Strong Man products have been widely used by con-structioncompanies, subcontractors and utility companieson job sites, demolition sites, storage areas and materialyards. They are used as sandblast curtains and scaffold en-closures,as well as vision, wind and heat barriers. StrongMan enclosures meet OSHA specifications and are windresistant and flexible, even in cold weather.