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2016WinterShotcreteEMag

Safety Shooter Railroad Working Safety Shotcrete, over the years, has had a long common history with the North American railroads. It was in the railroad magazine, Iron Age, where the term “shotcrete” first appeared, to refer to what was then commonly called “gunite.” During the time of steam engines, structural steel over railroad tracks was often encased with shotcrete to protect the overhead steel from the locomotive’s hot, wet steam. Shotcrete has long been used by the railroads, as an efficient concrete repair method and in the rehabilitation of bridge piers and abutments. Railroad tunnels are lined and repaired with shotcrete and it has long been a method used by railroads for rock and slope stabilization (Fig. 1). Our railroads provide access for products and materials in steel mills, power plants, and other industrial facilities, where shotcrete services are routinely performed. In plant railroads, transport shotcrete lined iron ladles from blast furnaces to Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) shops, where steel is made. Rail cars are commonly used for transporting coke from coke ovens to quench towers, where the red-hot coke is quenched and cooled. Coal is transported by rail into many coal-fired power plants and tanker cars of chemicals in chemical plants. Working around railroads can present many dangers and it is very important to take every precaution available to avoid and reduce the possibility of accidents (Fig. 2 and 3). Construction personnel need training to become familiar with the dangers involved. When working on piers or abutments, safe distances for shotcrete operations must be observed. Coordination with railroad personnel must always be maintained. All railroad safety regulations must be followed. When working on or around railroad tracks or on railroad property, safety is our responsibility. We as contractors are responsible to ensure that all of our employees have received the necessary training. This often includes specific training courses mandated by the various railroads. A few things to be aware of are listed as follows: Prior to Working on Railroad Property— • The contractor should secure owner permission and fill out and complete a Right of Entry permit; • Notify the railroad representative at least 48  hours before starting work and at least 24  hours from any person or equipment, including boom extensions, coming closer than 25 ft (8 m) to the track. This can vary for different owners; and • Ensure that all employees have received the required training for the work being performed. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)— • At a minimum, the contractor should require that their employees wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes clothing that covers the torso and at least quarter-length sleeves, and pants or trousers must be ankle-length. Protective eyewear, hardhats, protective footwear, high-visibility apparel, and hearing protection should meet the latest ANSI or CSA standards. By Ted Sofis Fig. 1: A Snooper inspection crane being used for hillside access above railroad line during shotcrete placement 54 Shotcrete • Winter 2016


2016WinterShotcreteEMag
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