In the field of non-destructive testing, workers face multiple safety hazards on a daily basis. This is why safety procedures and policies are so important. How else can workers maintain a high level of safety for themselves, the workers around them, the community, and the environment? Here are 7 ways to increase and ensure safety while working in a field or shop environment.
The first thing a worker should do when they walk onto a job site or into a shop is identify the potential hazards. Knowing where safety hazards are, such as heavy traffic areas, is important because now you can avoid these hazards. Identifying safety hazards is especially important to do the next time you are at a familiar site. Many people overlook potential hazards in areas where they feel more comfortable.
We have all had days where we wanted nothing more than to go home and relax. It is tempting to take shortcuts near the end of the day or when the weather is unfavorable just to get your work done quicker and go home. But how much time are you really saving? Taking shortcuts allows for mistakes to be made, which could endanger the safety of yourself or those around you. Saving a small amount of time is not worth risking the safety of yourself and others.
It is easy to let your guard down when you jump into the company vehicle at the end of a job knowing you will get to go home soon. Don't forget about safety! Reckless driving or lack of attention puts you and everyone else on the road at risk, and nobody wants to be "the person who wrecked the company vehicle." Be alert and focused while driving to ensure safety on the road.
Many companies, including AER, have policies in place that prohibit workers from littering while on a job site. After a job is completed, take a look around for any trash, such as used caution tape, and throw it away. This will ensure cleanliness of the job site and eliminate any safety hazards caused by litter. Litter also produces pollution which is a safety hazard for the environment, people and animals.
AER is located in Pennsylvania, where the summers are super hot and the winters are super cold. In the summer, the often required use of flame resistant clothing holds heat in and creates a safety hazard for heat exhaustion that workers need to be aware of. It is important to wear cool clothing as the flame resistant clothing should not be altered. In the winter, it is important to bundle up to protect from frost bite. It is a good idea to wear something that covers your face, such as a ski mask, while working outside during cold winter months.
In the field of non-destructive testing, companies have required safety trainings for their employees. Sometimes a client will also have a safety training for the technician to complete before any work can be done. To increase your safety knowledge and awareness, be sure to take advantage of optional safety trainings and online safety videos. Through continued training you are able to ensure safety for yourself and those around you.
Be prepared for the day ahead by getting enough sleep and eating breakfast. In order to perform a job to the best of your abilities, you need to be focused. It is easier to focus and stay on task when you have had enough sleep and ate breakfast versus when you stayed awake late and skipped breakfast.
Earlier this week, I assisted a co-worker with performing a job in which our task was to corrosion map a tank vessel. The tank was about 10 ft. tall and had a diameter of approximately 2.5 ft. The first thing we did was put a grid on the tank. We determined that 4X4 inch squares would give us enough data and adequately cover the tank. Putting up the grid was the longest and hardest part of the job. The tank needed repainted, so we were able to draw the grid straight onto the tank using marker. I wish we would have had chalk line, like they use to measure in construction. It would have helped us mark straighter lines easier, and it would wash away after the job is completed. Once the grid was placed on the tank, we used ultrasonic testing to measure the thickness. We placed the transducer in the center of each block and recorded the thickness on a spreadsheet. After the data was taken, we color coded it based on thickness to give a visual representation on the corrosion. It was thicker in the center where there seemed to be reinforcing, and thinner on the top and bottom. Here are some of the things I learned that day:
What is corrosion mapping? Corrosion mapping uses ultrasonic testing to measure and record the thickness of an object due to corrosion.
There is different types of corrosion. Pitting corrosion is uneven and has many small holes called pits. Uniform corrosion is even across the test object. Exfoliation corrosion is corrosion that follows along layers of elongated grains. Inter-granular corrosion follows along grain boundaries of the object.
Corrosion mapping tells us if the test object is suitable for use. At the job I was at, the tank passed its corrosion test and is able to stay in use. It will need tested again in the future.
Manual corrosion mapping using a grid can be time consuming depending on the size of the crew and vessel being inspected. I plan on looking into ways to make the process quicker and easier, especially for a one person crew.
Liquid Penetrant Testing is also called Dye Penetrant Testing, Fluorescent Testing, and Penetrant Testing. The process involves applying a colored liquid to the surface of the test object and pulling the liquid into surface flaws through capillary action. Ultraviolet light is used to enhance the liquid within the indication so it can easily be seen.
Six Main Steps of Dye Penetrant Testing
1. Pre-clean- Parts must be free of dirt, grease, rust, and oils.
2. Application of penetrant liquid- Liquid can be applied by brushing, spraying, or dipping the test object.
3. Dwell time- The liquid is given time to penetrate into any surface defects present
4. Developer application- Ultraviolet light is applied for visibility.
5. Evaluation- Inspector compares indications with code acceptance criteria.
6. Post-clean- Remove dye from test object.
The two main types of liquid penetrant testing include visible and fluorescent. Penetrant Testing is commonly used to inspect welds, forgings, rolled products, and castings. The method is able to identify surface discontinuities such as porosity, cold shuts, hot tears, cracks, undercut, overlap, lack of fusion, and lack of penetration.
Hello! My name is Melanie Boop, and I am the Communication Specialist at AER.