How to Prevent an OSHA Audit in Bellingham

OSHA auditOsha audits can appear without announcement. If your construction business isn't up to local code, you can expect a heavy fine. How can you prevent a Department of Labor auditor from showing up and disrupting business operations? We'll explain why an OSHA audit occurs and how you can reduce the odds of an out-of-nowhere inspection.

Why OSHA Audits Occur

The Department of Labor consists of two divisions: OSHA and the Wages and Hour Division (WHD). OSHA oversees federal safety compliance guidelines. OSHA audits may be random or a response to an employee or client report of a probable safety violation. The average fine for a first-time offense is $12,000. Repeated violations can exceed that amount.

WHD, as you can probably guess, oversees worker salary to ensure employers are following salary and overtime pay requirements. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Noise Control Methods for the Construction Industry in Monroe

Noise Control in ConstructionConstruction sites aren't exactly an area for peace and quiet. While loud noise is unavoidable, you can keep it within a reasonable volume. Here are a few construction noise control measures to keep in mind. This keeps complaints on the low end while also protecting crew members from future hearing loss.

Why Construction Noise Control Matters

Prolonged exposure to noise above 90 dBA can cause hearing loss. If you have to shout to talk to someone at an arm's length distance, then noise levels are dangerously high.

Use a decibel meter to determine the noise volume. Set up noise perimeter zones where the volume exceeds 90 dBA. You should designate all hard-hat areas as noise perimeter zones. Only staff working at the moment should be inside this area, and hearing protection should be mandatory. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Avoid These Hydraulic Hammer Mistakes in Anacortes

hydraulic hammer mistakesThe hydraulic breaker and hoe packs on our excavator rentals can withstand tremendous abuse. Nevertheless, frequent hydraulic hammer mistakes during operation can greatly reduce the attachment’s lifespan. This is why all licensed operators should adhere to standard operating procedures for prolonging the machinery's life.

Common Hydraulic Hammer Mistakes

1. Not Using a Compatible Breaker

Accelerated wear can incur to the hammer or excavator if the hammer is too big for the excavator, and vice versa. Always match the size/weight of the hammer to the excavator's lift capabilities.

2. Not Using the Proper Setup

The operator must also set up the breaker and carrier for the specific application. You might, for instance, need to operate the breaker while it's partially or completely submerged in water. In this scenario, are you running an underwater kit on the system? Underwater operation requires both an underwater kit and an air compressor. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Different Excavator Tail Swing Options

excavator tail swingUsing the right machine boosts productivity, cuts down on hazards, and minimizes downtime. This is exactly why you need to know which type of breaker and hoe pack is right for the job. You also need to know which excavator tail swing configuration is best when renting an excavator.

Excavator Tail Swing Options

Excavators have three different tail swing configurations: zero tail swing, reduced tail swing, and conventional tail swing.

Zero and Reduced Tail Swing Advantage

Zero and reduced tail swing excavators are for operating in tight and confined spaces. Zero tail swing means the excavator's housing doesn't extend beyond the vehicle's tracks when rotating. With reduced tail swing, the housing extends by no more than a few inches. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

At an Excavation Site, Safety Is Paramount

Excavation Site SafetyWe can't emphasize enough the importance of excavation site safety. Industrial equipment, such as the crane, bucket, breaker and hoe pack can pose a serious safety hazard to crew and pedestrians if you fail to adhere to safety guidelines. We'll go over the procedures for ensuring a safe working environment.

Follow These Excavation Site Safety Rules

Establish Pedestrian Exclusion Boundaries

Use fencing or bunting to provide a clear boundary between working and pedestrian zones. Also, a signaler should be present at all times to guide vehicle operators through blind spots.

Be Aware of Undercutting

Undercutting happens when the bucket digs into the ground beneath the excavator's tracks. This creates the dangerous risk of a cave-in. The excavator's tracks should always be perpendicular to the trench to prevent the floor from completely collapsing. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Buying Vs Renting Excavator Equipment

renting excavatorAs a construction contractor, you have to decide between buying and renting an excavator. Of course, we have a bias towards renting given that we rent out excavation equipment, such as breakers and ho packs. Even so, we will point out the pros and cons of each.

To Buy or Rent Excavator Equipment?

Know Your Financial Situation

Is buying cheaper than renting in the long-run? It can be, but not always. Many variables are at play, such as how many projects you have secured, and your ability to consistently pay for equipment maintenance.

Renting definitely makes more sense for a short-term, seasonal, or one-off job. If you foresee consistent projects ahead, then buying may be more cost-effective in the long-run. However, you also have to consider ownership costs, such as maintenance, repairs, insurance, license fees, etc. The rental company foots these costs when you rent. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Excavator Rental Tips

excavator rental tips monroe everett snohomishExcavators are one of the most common pieces of heavy equipment on a construction site. They are popular because they are useful for multiple purposes. Digging earth and moving large objects are among the most common uses. This versatility makes them an essential part of just about any major construction project. Since they are such an important part of a construction site, contractors are often interested in rentals for their business. Consider these excavator rental tips for your next project.

Difference Between an Excavator and a Power Shovel

An excavator consists of a boom, a dipper and a bucket. It also has a cab mounted on a rotating platform called the house. This part of the excavator sits atop an undercarriage that has either tracks or wheels.

These pieces of equipment are sometimes known as power or steam shovels. Excavators are an advanced version of the steam shovels once common on construction sites. Continue Reading ‚Ü'

Prepare Your Work Crew for Cold Stress This Winter

cold stress, work crew safetyConstruction work goes on even in the middle of the freezing winter. Working long hours outdoors in frigid temperatures put your work crew at risk of cold stress. Understanding this condition and how to keep your staff from succumbing to the winter elements is important for their safety and your project's success.

What Is Cold Stress?

Cold stress is a condition formally recognized by OSHA. In short, cold stress is just a colloquial term for hypothermia. It occurs when your body temperature dips below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Under the effects of cold stress, the body is no longer able to warm itself. Continued exposure to the cold can result in tissue damage and even death in extreme cases.

Avoid Cold Stress When Working Outside

In construction work, then it goes without saying that your crew is going to be outside a lot. Establish a winter dress code to ensure that your work crew doesn't suffer preventable and cold-induced medical conditions.

  • Use disposable warmers: these come in small packets that they can place inside their pants, footwear, or gloves.
  • Dress warmly at all times: this applies even if they're temporarily indoors or inside an excavator cabin.
  • Layer your clothing: wear multiple thin layers of clothing rather than one or two bulky garments.
  • Stay dry: wet clothing is a threat to bodily heat retention. Be especially sure they keep the inner layers of their clothing dry.
  • Drink water: staying hydrated allows them to better process the foods they eat. In turn, this converts the foods into heat energy.

Stay Healthy this Winter

With 2020 comes new projects. We provide the excavators and breakers and hoe packs for these projects. Here's more info about us. Active Excavator Rentals would like to serve you as we begin this new decade. Be mindful of cold stress as your crew sets out to work this winter.

Excavator Rentals for Monroe-Based Contractors

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

Protect Your Equipment from the Cold; Winterize Your Excavator

winterize excavator

Winter is upon us, yet construction work continues. Your crew will be properly dressed, but what about your excavator and other equipment? Construction tools require just as much protection from weather as people. You need to winterize your excavator to maintain its reliability during winter operations.

Why Excavator Winterization Is Necessary

An extreme drop in the thermometer can take a toll on construction equipment just as much as excessive heat and humidity. What kind of damage can occur from extreme cold? Even if it rains and snows, the overall humidity is really low. This can dry out sensitive parts, such as seals, hydraulics, and electrical lines. Furthermore, condensation can develop in the fuel lines. While a small amount of condensation is normal, too much can reduce excavator performance.

How to Winterize Your Excavator

If possible, park the excavator in a fully enclosed area when not in use. The same goes for all attachments, such as breakers and hoe packs. If you park outdoors for prolonged periods, the tracks risk freezing to the ground. Tires on other vehicles can also develop flat spots. 

You will also need to lubricate more often. Preferably, use lubricant with a low viscosity rating for maximum pliability. Oiling is your first line of defense against the effects of cold weather storage.

Much like a car battery, excavator batteries are also prone to malfunction during winter. Some people reduce battery damage by disconnecting the terminals before storing the excavator away for the day. However, we suggest using a trickle charger instead.

Protect Your Equipment This Winter

We protect the excavators in our inventory. However, once a vehicle is in your possession, it's your duty to take care of it. Contact Active Excavator Rentals to learn about us and our current inventory. Winterizing your Excavator is a necessity when the mercury drops.

Excavator and Attachment Rental

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

What to Do if Your Excavator Hits a Gas Line

hit gas line, rupturing gas line

Excavation projects obviously involve digging using an excavator. With the use of a breaker or hoe pack comes the risk of contact with an underground utility line. This includes the possibility of hitting a gas line, which creates a hazardous situation. How should your crew respond in the event an excavator ruptures a gas pipe?

Hitting a Gas Line Hazardous

Even with the best preparation, accidents, such as rupturing a gas line, can and do occur. In St. Cloud, MN, in 1998, a construction crew damaged a gas line that caused a massive fire. 15 people were injured and three buildings went up in flames. This was all due to a cut in a 1 1/8-inch plastic gas line while drilling a hole.

How to Act if You Hit a Gas Line

Protection of life and property is the first priority the minute you recognize damage to a gas line. The supervisor should immediately instruct all crewmembers to remove any ignitable sources from the vicinity. This includes shutting off all gas lights, engines, and electrical devices. Anything that might cause a spark could cause an explosion. Once you evacuate and secure the area, call 911 and the city's local gas service.

Additional Actions to Take

  • Do not fill a bore hole where the pipe was damaged
  • Do not backfill an excavation where the exposed pipe was ruptured
  • Do not try to repair the pipe
  • Do not try to put out any fires that result from leaking gas

Before starting a project, call 811 to identify and mark all utility locations.

Exercise Extreme Caution

When you use one of our excavators, please be mindful of the location and depth of all underground utilities. When you are ready to begin a contracted project, contact Active Excavator Rentals and learn about us. Hitting and rupturing a gas line has the potential to cause bodily injury and death.

Excavator and Attachment Rentals

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore