Author Archives: Brett

OSHA 1910.28 Ladder Change is Live

OSHA’s November 19, 2018 fixed ladder changeover has officially come on their standard 1910.28. What do you need to know to ensure you are meeting OSHA fall protection standards for your fixed laddersOSHA 1910.28 Ladder ChangeIf you have an existing fixed ladder more that 24’h that was installed before November 19, 2018, it should already have a cage on it.  The previous OSHA standard 1910.27 required cages on all ladders over 20’h. You have until November 18th, 2036 to retrofit the caged ladder with a personal fall arrest system. Until then, you are grandfathered in under the OSHA standard that was in place at the time of install. If your climb is 24’ or less, you do not need to retrofit the ladder at any time with a personal fall arrest system.

A-Mezz Personal Fall Arrest System Meets OSHA 1910.28

A-Mezz Personal Fall Arrest System Meets OSHA 1910.28

Note that if you modify or replace an existing ladder (over 24 feet high) that was installed before November 18, 2018, you will need to retrofit the ladder with the personal fall arrest system at that time. Replaced ladder sections are not grandfathered in under the prior OSHA standards – 1910.27.

Any new ladders over 24’h will need to be installed with a personal fall arrest system. You can still have a cage installed on the ladder “provided it does not interfere with the operation of the system” (1910.28(b)(9)(iv)).

These changes pertain to “fixed ladders that extend more than 24 feet (7.3 m) above a lower level.” The big change for lower ladders is that a fall arrest system is now not required until you are over 24 feet, whereas the code used to require cages or personal fall arrest systems for climbs over 20’ (1910.27(d)(1)(ii)).

You can also now run your ladders a maximum 150’ in a single climb if using a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system (1910.28(b)(9)(ii)(B)).

The previous OSHA fixed ladder standard had stipulated a 30’ maximum climb before landing platforms were used to break your climb up into shorter climbs. I.e. before November 18th, 2018, a 150 foot climb would require five separate caged ladders and four separate landing platforms. OSHA 1910.28 will let you now have just one ladder with a personal fall arrest system, cutting fabrication costs, delivery costs, and installation costs.

Please contact us at A-Mezz Industrial Structures to get more information on our fixed ladders, our ladder cages, and our ladder personal fall arrest systems.

 

Fiberglass Step Covers

By Reese @ Floormatstore.com

Fiberglass Tread Covers

Fiberglass Tread Covers

We have some very exciting news from the Floor-Mat Store to share with you! We’ve just added a new member to our stair tread selection:  fiberglass. Some jobs just require a little bit more, don’t they? Maybe more color options, more grit, or more versatility. These are designed to help with all of those extra needs.

Fiberglass tread cover color chart

Fiberglass tread cover color chart

Floor-Mat Store fiberglass step covers can come in both a standard 90 lip, or bullnose, with lengths up to 10’ so that you no longer have to deal with butting two treads up to each other. Our fiberglass treads have thirty-four color options, which gives you over sixty different possible combinations to choose from. Looking for a school system and want to breathe a little school spirit into your design? We can do that. Just decided on a new company color? Perhaps even a bright or neon one that you can’t seem to find anywhere? We can do that.

Super Coarse Grade

Super Coarse Grade

Super Fine Coarse

Super Fine Coarse

Our fiberglass stair treads are manufactured in six different grit coarsenesses, from Super Coarse, which is great in areas prone to slippery conditions, to Super Fine, used for locations needing both slip protection and a gentle touch for bare feet.

Attachment details

Attachment details

Installation is quick and easy for use on every base material. We have fastener kits for applications onto wood, concrete, diamond plating, and open grating, along with our moisture cured urethane adhesive for the simplest tight hold install. Whatever your need, our fiberglass treads are designed to take away the stress and supply you with the solutions for your obstacles.  

 

A-Mezz Rigid Track Personal Fall Arrest System

Personal fall arrest systems are causing cages to go out of vogue with OSHA. As of November 2018 they will not count as fall protection on new fixed ladders and they will only count as fall protection on existing ladders until November of 2036. Note that if an existing ladder is modified at anytime, that modified section of ladder must be retrofitted with a personal fall arrest system at that time. 

Personal fall arrest system with body harness and trolley

Personal fall arrest system in use with body harness and trolley

We now carry a rigid fall arrest track that, when used in conjunction with a trolley and body harness, will meet OSHA’s new requirements for fall protection. The rigid track and trolley allow the climber to move freely up and down the track without needing to push, pull, or even touch any part of the fall arrest system.

Should an accident happen, your foot slips or you fall, the trolley on the fall arrest system will automatically lock onto the rigid rail, stopping your fall.

Tracks are available in 316 Stainless Steel or Aluminum with an anodized finish. The trolleys are designed for a single user and have a capacity of 310 lbs. Note: Two users are permitted to use a single track when used for rescue purposes, but never the same trolley. With that in mind, we suggest the single track and two harnesses and trolleys.

One track/trolley may get you by for most things, but if you ever need to have more than one person on the roof at the same time you will need to have a harness and trolley for each climber. If you do not, the first climber has to get to the roof, remove the trolley and harness, lower it by rope to the lower person who then has to put on the harness and climb up. Likewise, when work is done, one person has to climb down with the harness and trolley and then remove it, tie it to a rope for the upper climber to pull up, put on the harness and climb down… It doesn’t make much sense to us either.

Close up view of A-Mezz personal fall arrest systems utilizing rigid track.

Close up view of A-Mezz personal fall arrest systems utilizing rigid track.

The rigid tracks are installed in the middle of the climbing side of the ladder rungs. The fall arrest system clamps around the ladder rung every 4’ to 6’ to secure and can have multiple pieces of rigid track spliced together to accommodate long climbs without requiring a single long rail to be shipped, which saves on shipping costs. Often the increased cost of the system is offset almost entirely by the fact that the ladder does not need to have a cage anymore. Cages are costly to manufacture and especially to ship. Taking up 4’x4’x34’ of space on a truck isn’t cheap. We have seen some freight costs come back almost 1/7th what they were compared to caged ladders.

 

Barber Chair Mats

Shopping for a new mat can be a stressful event that can be made even more difficult if you have a chair that is not the standard salon base diameter.  Custom chairs are popping up all over the place, and while they can carry with them additional comfort for the customer, stylists are left scratching their heads looking for a mat to fit them. This is an issue many barbers are currently facing. Barber shop chairs take up quite a bit of additional floor place in order to recline customers properly. While these barbers spend just as much time on their feet as other stylists, finding mats to fit their larger sized chairs can become quite the task.

Barber Shop Mats at Floor Mat Store

Barber Chair Mats at Floor Mat Store

While all of our quick order salon matting comes with a standard 24” chair indent, we can do just about any of our mats with larger sizes. That means no matter the size of your chair, we can work around the limitations and get you some relief from those long hours of standing. If you don’t like the feel of having an indent, we can customize your mat without one.

Anti-Fatigue Mat

Anti-Fatigue Mat

So whether you are finding yourself getting shin splints or experiencing discomfort from standing all day, we can work around your constraints so that you can get back to enjoying what you do with our barber chair mats.

To learn more visit https://www.floormat-store.com/salon-mats/index.html

 

A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

Springtime Muddy Ladder Installation

Ahh… Spring time in Ohio. The flowers, birds, oh and MUD.

A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

A-Mezz Ladder Install in Muddy Conditions

We got a call from a builder with with a newly constructed structure – so new that there was no paved access yet – and they needed a ladder to gain access to their HVAC rooftop units. The building height was over 30’ and we had some options on how to access the roof based on OSHA’s new regulations.

The first option was a straight, uncaged ladder 35’ high with a personal fall protection cable. That is the new OSHA requirement on all climbs over 24’. The pros of the cable/track systems are that the climber wears a harness and clips onto the fall arrest system so that if he falls, the system stops his fall. The downside is those systems require the climber to have a harness and proper equipment to utilize the cable/track.

For this site the customer chose to go with the second option. We used a lower, uncaged ladder to get them up to a mid landing under 20’h. Then we used a second ladder with cage to climb from the intermediate landing to the upper roof. This setup was slightly more expensive up front but did not require the purchase of additional harnesses, trolleys and maintenance that the personal fall arrest systems required. Additionally, the cage is always there. This provides a safety benefit always, whereas the personal fall arrest systems only provide a safety benefit if the climber is wearing a harness and has the proper equipment. By utilizing the intermediate platform, no climb between platforms is over 24’ so the customer will not have to retrofit their ladders with personal fall arrest systems in 18 years when OSHA’s grandfather rules expire for existing ladder systems.

We had to hold off on install for a couple weeks as the ground thawed early in Ohio and there was way too much mud for our equipment to get to the install location. Luckily we caught a break and a few dry sunny days slightly helped dry out the site – being Ohio, if we didn’t get out to the site when we did, the spring rains could have pushed things off for months until things dried up.

Trying not to bury our axels in the mud, we got the upper ladder into place and worked down from there.

Upper Caged Ladder Being Lifted into Position

Upper Caged Ladder Being Lifted into Position

We fabricated the upper ladder with our self support walk-through handrail because the wall included a short parapet and we didn’t want to have the ladder setting on the metal capping.

Self supported walk-through handrail detail

Self supported walk-through handrail detail

On the lower ladder we included our lockable rung door so that unauthorized people could not climb the ladder.

Completed Installation of Ladder System

Completed Installation of Ladder System

With a crew of two men and one morning, the ladder system was installed (despite the mud) and the customer has safe, OSHA and ANSI compliant access to their roof. A-Mezz took care of everything from design, detail, fabrication and installation and we were able to educate the customer on all of their options and costs. The project was done on time for the amount budgeted.

Custom Crossover Bridge

This past year we were called out to a company who had some sprawling equipment. Because of the space required, their employees would be working on the second floor of the left hand mezzanine, and would have to climb down two flights of stairs, cross the forklift aisle, and climb up two more flights of stairs to access the left mezzanine to continue their work. As you can imagine, that was a huge inefficiency.

A-Mezz Crossover Platform loaded for delivery to install location

A-Mezz Crossover Bridge loaded for delivery to install location

We designed, fabricated, and installed a crossover bridge to allow them to quickly go from one machine to the next without requiring four flights of stairs to be climbed each time, and it also kept them out of the aisleway between the structures. Due to the elevation change between the two structures, we incorporated a stair at the left hand side of the bridge and fabricated the bridge stringers as one piece to allow it to safely reach each side without requiring any additional supports.

 

The left side was designed to mount on top of that mezzanine’s edge framing members and at the right we had to add additional steel to allow the crossover bridge to safely and securely attach to the side of the right hand mezzanine.

Installed A-Mezz Custom Crossover Platform

Installed A-Mezz Custom Crossover Bridge

 

Everything was painted to match their existing equipment. Ultimately, the customer liked the setup so much that they called us back a few months later to do another crossover just like the one we had completed for another location in their factory.  For more information on our custom fabrications please visit our website, email or call. 

Floor Door, Angle Frame, Features

A floor door is a great way to gain access to a mechanical pit or well. Floor doors are much safer than just laying a steel plate or wooden board over an opening, and they allow unimpeded traffic flow while not in operation.  Compare that to locations that have permanent handrails installed around an opening and always reduce traffic regardless of use. Also, floor doors are counterbalanced to help open and close the door safely.

Open floor door view of components

Interior floor door  view of components

Above you can see the counterbalance springs — they are the three cylinders mounted to the open door. Their quantity is dependent on the hatch material and size (i.e. weight of the door). There is also a hold open arm on the left side of the door to prevent the floor door from closing accidently. It also makes closing the floor door easier. At the top of the door is the slam latch. Simply close the door and it is securely latched.

Photo of open floor door

Exterior floor door tread plate

Around the bottom of the floor hatch there is an angle frame, as well as removable concrete anchor straps. This allows flexibility with the installation into existing locations as well as locations with a fresh pour of concrete.

Photo of closed floor door ready for packaging

Closed floor door ready for packaging

The outside of the door is a checker-plate pattern to provide some slip resistance.  Some floor doors are also available with a recessed well in the door to allow carpet squares to be installed. Which way is best is up to the install location. The check plate is easier to take a rolling load like a cart. The recessed well for floor tiles allows the hatch to blend in more with interior locations that already are carpeted. When used in an existing opening, the cover will sit above the mounting structure by ¼” – the thickness of the angle frame. Some installers leave that 1/4″ lip and some notch the floor slightly to make the floor door entirely flush. 

Angle frame floor hatch packaged and ready to ship

Angle frame floor hatch packaged and ready to ship

We can put all the greatest features into our floor doors but that doesn’t matter if the door arrives to you damaged, so they are never shipped loose. Above you can see the floor door safely wrapped in cardboard and banded onto a pallet with notes not to stack by the carrier. A little more time taken to make sure they’re packaged securely has helped eliminate almost all of the headaches that happen with freight damage and resulting freight claims.

Use Nose Caulk To Get The Most Life Out Of Your Stair Treads

Improperly installed stair tread

The most common reason for replacing rubber or vinyl stair treads is that the nosing is cracking or falling off. This type of damage is almost always due to the installer missing one very important step, drastically shortening the lifespan of a tread – not to mention also voiding your tread warranty due to an improper installation.

When installing rubber and vinyl stair covering, one of the most often overlooked but essential steps is putting in the nose caulking. Modern square nose stair treads have a channel on the inside corner of the nose which gives the nosing piece flexibility enough to fit any angle riser from 60° to 90°. Without filling that channel with nose caulking, you’re allowing the stair tread to flex in the most vulnerable spot. The more often that area flexes, the more vulnerable it becomes, and sooner than later, you’ll get a crack which spreads across the nose.

Epoxy Nose Caulk

Epoxy Nose Caulk

There are two options for installing nose caulking; you can find both options on our FloorMat Store website. The easiest option is to use a dual cartridge unit and a dual cartridge caulking gun, that covers 50 linear feet per unit. Just pop the cartridge in and squeeze a small bead along the inside of the nose bend. If you are taking your time with the installation, or breaking up a large job, make sure to order extra nozzles too, so you can cap the unit between uses.

nose caulk gun

Nose Caulk Gun – Dual Cartridge

The other method is a two part quart unit, which is a bit more difficult, but a lot more budget friendly. You mix the two parts as directed on the side of the cans, and using a trowel or putty knife, slip some in place along the nosing. A single quart unit will cover 75 linear feet if properly mixed, used before dried and applied correctly. Remember, once mixed, you’re fighting the clock; try not to take a break from installing, or you may come back to find your mixture has already set.

Quart Can of Nose Caulk - covers ups to 75 LF

Can of Nose Caulk – covers ups to 75 LF

If you are installing stair treads over steps that have worn edges, make sure that you use a heavy hand when applying the nose caulking, so it can properly fill out the area to give a solid backing to the tread.

Floormatstore.com

Catwalk Bridges Can Save Space and Improve Efficiency

Recently we’ve been out to a local shop for a lot of projects. This time we were called to supply some catwalk bridges. This helps them better utilize their existing space by gaining extra storage and workstation space from the areas they already had. They have several buildings in their facility that were capable of housing light storage on top of them. Ordinarily, the easiest way to access these spaces is through a pre-engineered steel staircase. The problem you run into when you have many buildings in relatively close vicinity to each other is that floor space is a premium; you can’t afford to block off aisle ways with stairs, and even if you have the space to accommodate multiple stairs to access multiple buildings, it is not very efficient having to run up and down stairs from one structure to go to another.

One stair was put in place to access a central building and then a couple of catwalk bridges were fabricated and installed to access the ancillary modular buildings. The catwalk bridges were fabricated so they could be lifted into place with a forklift truck. This allowed for quick, easy installation. This also allowed the customer to remove them relatively quickly should they need the additional vertical clearance to bring larger machinery through their aisles.

Catwalk bridges between block wall and modular building

Catwalk bridges between block wall and modular building

Attachment to their existing cinder block structure was easy, but mounting to their modular buildings required some extra consideration. Modular buildings are weakest at the panel locations. We supplied angle so the customer could span the angle from multiple posts on the building and then fasten the bridge to the angle. This distributed the load of the bridges across two sturdy posts per side instead of hitting a potentially crushable panel.  The catwalk bridges were not going to be centered directly over their panels so the angle was sent extra-long to allow flexibility in their bridge locations.

The customer now has access to multiple interior building tops for additional workspace and storage, and hasn’t sacrificed much room on their floor now that they utilized crossover bridges to open up their previously unusable  spaces.

Standing Desks – How to Make the Transition Stick

Standing desks be great for your health and productivity

Standing desks be great for your health and productivity

Over the past couple of years, in the matting department, we’ve been noticing a new trend:  standing desks. The first time I had a customer inquire about mats for the standing desks they were switching to, my mind was boggled. I believe the line running through my mind was, “But chairs are so comfortable”. Sure enough though, they were ditching their chairs in favor of a more upright position. And they sure weren’t the only ones. A fairly sizable chunk of our anti-fatigue matting sales over the past two years have been simple 2’x3’ mats for standing desks.

Intrigued, I looked into the benefits. A simple Google search pulled up a lot of information. A lot of the lists of benefits seem to stem off of each other, and a lot of the studies are done using far too small of pools to prove logical thinking, but the gist of it is: standing desks can help you live longer (via reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and fighting weight gain/obesity) and improve productivity (via improving energy levels).

There are a lot of negatives that go along with standing for long periods of time though, such as fatigue and pain in your feet, legs and back, bad blood circulation and varicose veins. The best way to counter these negatives is by sitting, but if you use a standing desk, using an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce these symptoms. You can find many different models for different applications on FloorMat-Store.com, but for a general office type setting, you can’t really go wrong with a Tile Top mat; it is durable, inexpensive and has a simple design. If you can make the transition more comfortable, chances are less initial push-back will happen and the change will stick around long enough to reap the benefits.

By: Jared (www.floormat-store.com)