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Health and Safety

A well-designed and insulated system will protect personnel by:
  • Lowering hot surface temperatures
  • Preventing accidental burns
Insulation protects equipment and personnel

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.

The Theodore H. Brodie Distinguished Safety Award

NIA promotes and recognizes safety in the workplace with this important annual award.

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 inspectio...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

  • Safety Procedures for Employees Working Alone
    Date: March 2014
    Author: Ed Loosemore

    While it is acceptable for employees to work alone (unless a federal, state, or local agency prohibits it), proper steps must be taken up front to provide them and others with procedures to follow to ensure their health and safety. Businesses should check the guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure that their working-alone procedures follow all federal rules and regulations.

    The first step in developin...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • What Is a "Competent Person?"
    OSHA’s Requirements for the Term Extend Beyond Simply Designating Someone with the Title
    Date: March 2014
    Author: Kyle W. Morrison

    When a boss calls an employee a "competent person," it is not necessarily a compliment—it is a legal obligation.

    A competent person is an employee who is able to recognize hazards associated with a particular task, and has the ability to mitigate those hazards. Many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction standards require someone on site—such as a Foreman, Supervisor, or other employee—to be designated as a competent person.


  • Cold-Weather Injuries: OSHA Notes: Cold-Weather Injury Prevention Requirements and Contractor-Subcontractor Liability
    Date: February 2014
    Author: Gary Auman

    The July issue of Insulation Outlook featured an article about heat stress due to the serious nature of this concern and the correspondingly strict stance the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken on heat stress prevention. OSHA had informed construction industry employers that if they did not have a heat stress program in place, they would be cited for violations of the General Duty Clause. Although a similar memorandum has not been issued regarding cold-weather injuries, the same enforcem...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Legally Speaking: Healthcare Deadlines Approach—Act Now
    Date: December 2013
    Author: Paul Routh

    Early Renewal Strategy

    One of the most important provisions of the new healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare," will take effect for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014 for small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees). These provisions are known as the community rating restrictions, and there ...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulatory Update
    Date: December 2013
    Author: Gary Auman

    With the government shutdown in October, there has been some uncertainty about the status of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Now that the government is back up and running, OSHA is resuming operations. During the shutdown, all OSHA litigation matters were put on hold while the Department of Labor attorneys who represent OSHA, as well as Administrative Law Judges with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, were temporarily furloughed, pending the conclusion of the shutdown. In In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the construction industry has the second-highest rate of fatal work injuries in the U.S., demonstrating the need to make safety programs a priority. Now a new SmartMarket Report, published by McGraw Hill Construction in partnership with ClickSafety, CPWR and United Rentals, reveals that investing in safety practices is not only a way to address this grim statistic, but that these investments also can yield significant business returns. Large construction companies&mda...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Pre-Work Start-Up Safety Checklist for Contractors
    Date: October 2013
    Author: Gary Auman

    Regardless of size, safety should be a key component of every job, and contractors should make safety planning a priority when they are creating their bids. The cost of having a safe job site should be considered and made part of the bid; and if the contractor gets the job, it should be treated as an integral part of the project. When contractors visit job sites to obtain project information, they should also be evaluating safety concerns to outline what is needed to finish the job safely and in compliance with all applicable codes, standard...READ FULL ARTICLE

  • Using Transitional Duty to Return Employees to Work After an Injury
    Date: October 2013
    Author: Gary Auman

    As employers, we all strive to avoid work-related injuries to our employees. We do this because we do not want to see any of our employees injured, but also because of the costs associated with work-related injuries. Work-related injuries that lead to lost time usually result in an increase in our experience modification rate, which ultimately affects our workers' compensation insurance premium. These premium increases can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars each year for several years after the industrial injury....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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