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Health and Safety

A well-designed and insulated system will protect personnel by:

  • Lowering hot surface temperatures
  • Preventing accidental burns

Thermal insulation is one of the most effective means of protecting workers from burns resulting from contact with hot or extremely cold piping and equipment. For hot surfaces, especially, insulation reduces the surface temperature of piping or equipment to a safer level, resulting in increased worker safety and the avoidance of worker downtime due to injury. With today's specification tools it's very easy to calculate the insulation thickness needed to bring the surface temperature of your piping and equipment to safe levels.

In addition to the safety benefits of insulation, NIA member companies take job site safety very seriously and strive to meet the highest standards to protect their own personnel.

Theodore H. Brodie

The Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award

The Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award is NIA's highest industry honor for outstanding safety performance. NIA recognizes safety as a vital part of the mechanical insulation industry. The 2014 application deadline was January 31, 2015. The 2014 Brodie Awards will be presented at NIA's 60th Annual Convention.

The 2014 Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Awards were judged using responses to the questions asked in the applications below.

Established in 2004 to recognize top companies that have established structured safety programs to ensure the well-being of their employees and create safe working environments, the Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award is named in honor of Ted Brodie, NIA Past President and long-time active member, who worked tirelessly to create a greater awareness of the need for safe working conditions. Brodie first chaired the association's Health and Safety Committee in 1967, and he received the NIA's President's Award in 1988. Brodie was the president and CEO of New England Insulation Co., Inc. in Canton, Massachusetts, for 50 years.

Health and Safety Committee

The NIA is committed to the health, safety and welfare of its members, customers, and the insulation industry. Through professional safety leadership, the Committee will actively promote the highest standards of safety and health excellence, to ensure a safe working environment.

If you are an NIA member and would like more information about joining this committee, please contact the membership department. You may also log in to the Members Only to download committee minutes.


  • Legally Speaking: OSHA Focuses in on Heat Stress
    Date: July 2014
    Author: Bob Dunlevey

    Although there is no specific legal standard for addressing hot-work environments, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently focusing its efforts on the prevention of heat-related illnesses. OSHA has launched its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers, and is focusing many of their efforts on ensuring employers are addressing the threat of heat illness. A recent Washington memo to OSHA's Regional Administrators emphasized the importance of this issue, and stated that "this memo directs the Field to expedite heat-related inspections and...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Preventing Mold Growth in Below-Ambient Systems
    Date: July 2014
    Author: Steve Fisher

    Below-ambient systems create unique environments that have the potential for a multitude of issues, one of which is mold growth. Mold growth can occur either on or in mechanical insulation on pipes and tanks if the right conditions are present. When mold grows inside duct work, it can be a very significant issue, and cause for concern. The conditions in ducts can be conducive for mold growth and the potential for health issues is high, particularly in schools, public buildings, and health-care facilities. Selecting the correct insulation type and installing it properly according t...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Recovering Safely
    Work Is Coming Back: Will the Workers You Hire for the Job Meet Your Safety Standards?
    Date: July 2014
    Author: Ulf Wolf

    This is the scenario: You have just landed a large, profitable job. The schedule is tight, but you can commit to it, and you have. The next day—bless the chief estimator (and the recovering market)—you land another large, profitable job. It also has a tight schedule, but not impossible. It is scramble time, though. You need 20 more crew, this week, to start next Monday. You find them. Two great projects pushing your company to the limit (with more on the horizon).

    This is the question: In face of revived production demands, does safety take a back seat?


  • Legally Speaking: Health Care
    Date: May 2014
    Author: Paul Routh

    It can be somewhat difficult to keep abreast of the developments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following is some additional information in simple outline form to assist you as you prepare for these new regulations.

    Individual Mandate Postponed

    The individual mandate originally required legal residents to obtain healthcare insurance beginning in 2014 or face a tax penalty. The tax escalates from $95 per person in 2014 to $695 per person in 2016. But on December 19, 2013, Pr...READ FULL ARTICLE

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Personnel Protection is an Important Function of Insulation

By reducing the surface temperature of hot piping and equipment to a safer level, insulation protects workers from hazardous injuries. This results in increased worker safety and a reduction in downtime due to injury.

Other Benefits of Insulation:
  1. Reduces energy costs
  2. Prevents moisture condensation
  3. Reduces capacity and size of new mechanical equipment
  4. Enhances process performance
  5. Reduces emissions of pollutants
  6. Safety and protection of personnel
  7. Acoustical performance: reduces noise levels
  8. Maximizes return on investment (ROI)
  9. Improves Appearance
  10. Fire Protection

Now that I know insulation pays for itself and produces so many benefits...
What's The Next Step?
  1. Find an Insulation Contractor
  2. Perform an Insulation Energy Appraisal
  3. Review Insulation Manufacturers' Technical Literature
  4. Take a Class to Learn Insulation Fundamentals
  5. Get a Free Subscription to Insulation Outlook magazine
  6. Invite an Insulation Expert to Speak at Your Event
  7. Take Advantage of NIA's Free Online Technical Resources

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