If we were to switch to induction equipment, how extensive is the training process for our employees who will be on the melt deck?
Induction furnaces improve working conditions by making foundries cooler, cleaner and generally less hostile workplaces when compared to other methods of melting. They have not, however, eliminated the dangers inherent in working close to molten metal. Because of this, we always insist that all employees read and understand all safety and equipment manuals before operating or maintaining the equipment. Most companies find that the amount of training required when switching to induction is more than acceptable.
How can I find out about the different safety hazards that may be present with my equipment?
Induction furnaces make today’s foundries safer and more productive than at any time in history. Sadly, many of the accidents that have occurred could have been prevented by observing common-sense safety precautions and following basic safety rules. For this reason, we developed the Induction Foundry Safety Training Kit and have made it available for free to all foundries, whether they have Inductotherm equipment or not. To request a Safety Training Kit, click here.
Does Inductotherm offer training classes on safety, power supplies, furnaces, etc.?
Yes. We offer all types of training. You can send your employees to Inductotherm (Rancocas, NJ) to take part in a general training class or a training class can be configured specifically for your equipment and held at your facility or ours. Training is available for safety, maintenance, operation and induction basics. Contact our Training Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific information.
I have a cardiac pacemaker. Is it dangerous to be near the induction equipment and is there a safe distance?
The Inductotherm Safety Fundamentals Guide advises you to stay well away from induction equipment if you have any artificial implants, particularly a cardiac pacemaker. The safe distance will depend on many factors including the size and type of the furnace and power supply and the size and type of the implant. No one with an implant should work directly on, or near, any induction equipment. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
What do I do if my furnace is bridging?
Bridging can be minimized by using proper charge materials and by making sure the different sizes of charge material are added correctly. If a bridge occurs, power must be turned off immediately and all personnel must be evacuated from the furnace area until enough time has elapsed to allow the molten metal to cool and solidify. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
What type of protective equipment should be worn on the melt deck?
Personnel working (and all visitors) in proximity to molten metal must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required by OSHA, based on an assessment by foundry management to determine if hazards are likely to be present. In addition to wearing PPE, automated systems should be used whenever possible to distance the workers from the furnace and molten metal splash. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
I’ve heard a lot about Ground Leak Detectors, Ground Detectors and other similar terms. Are they all the same and how do I know what I need for my equipment?
The ground detector is a primary safety device. The ground and leak detector system for use with most coreless induction furnaces and power supply units is crucial to safe melting and holding operations. The system, which includes both a ground detector module associated with the power supply and a ground leak probe, located in the furnace (except in removable crucible furnaces), is designed to provide important protection against electrical shock and warning of metal-to-coil penetration, a highly dangerous condition that could lead to a furnace eruption or explosion. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
I have a removable crucible furnace. Do I need a ground leak detector?
The ground detector is a primary safety device. The system, which includes both a ground detector module associated with the power supply and ground leak probe, located in the furnace (except in removable crucible furnaces), is designed to provide important protection. The ground leak probe which is used to detect a molten metal leak penetration through the refractory and penetrating the coil is not used with removable crucible furnaces since the crucible and the coil are separated by an air gap and there is no path for molten metal to reach the coil. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
Sometimes water settles in my furnace spill pit. Is it critical that I keep the spill pits dry at all times?
Yes! Furnaces must only be operated with adequate, carefully maintained and dry spill pits. Without adequate pits, free-flowing spilled molten metal could flow across the foundry floor, endangering workers, damaging equipment and structures, and possibly causing a fire or explosion. They must be carefully maintained because metal poured into a pit where moisture, standing water, oils or other fluids are present could cause a potentially serious explosion. For more information, visit www.inductotherm.com/resources/safety.
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