why insulate? – enhancing employee safety with insulation
Enhancing Employee Safety With Insulation
When was the last time you heard about mechanical insulation at a safety meeting? Protecting workers from contact with hot or cold surfaces should be a focus of any safety program. Another important safety focus should be protecting workers from excessive equipment or other workplace noise.
Insulation systems can be a vital component in applications related to life safety, such as applications for commercial kitchen ducts, return air plenums, protection of power and communication conduit trays, and other similar applications.
The role of mechanical insulation in providing a safe work environment is seldom considered. Far beyond the impact on a company’s bottom line is the very direct impact on its employees’ well-being. Can you think of a more important topic or better reason to think about insulation differently?
Reducing Energy Costs With Insulation
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is a major safety and cost concern. It raises the question: If insulation is correctly designed, installed, and maintained in a timely and effective manner, is it possible the CUI problem could be minimized or even eliminated? It is an interesting subject, and there are many points of view regarding CUI. Moisture is definitely the enemy. The old saying, “Pay now or pay later,” applies to insulation in this case. By not properly maintaining an insulation system, you could be creating bigger or more expensive problems. If you don’t change the way things are done, you can expect the same results you’ve always gotten.
Reducing Emissions With Insulation
A reduction in energy consumption means less fossil fuel is being burned to produce energy. The result is a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. These gases have been directly linked to global warming and pollution. This benefit is not being considered in many applications. Why not? Many people do not relate the reduction of energy consumption to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, you are increasing carbon credits. Reducing energy, reducing emissions, and increasing the availability of carbon credits: What a great win-win-win scenario.
Insulation can be a major component of employing sustainable design technology. Whether you are pursuing certification or just want to start thinking “green,” insulation systems—both individually or in combination with other building or equipment design options—can be vital to accomplishing your objectives. Environmental stewardship is not new, but it is no longer just an option. The economic case to build green is no longer the challenge it once was, and the potential of green buildings being mandated in many industry segments is real. Some evidence suggests that current planning, design, construction, and real estate practices contribute to patterns of resources consumption that seriously jeopardize the future of Earth’s population. The proper design, installation, and maintenance of mechanical insulation should be a major consideration in all sustainable design initiatives.