Sheet Metal Safety Tips that Affect Costs

While many professionals in the sheet metal business can agree on all of the following safety issues, there are times that “common sense ” is sometimes overlooked. Much of managing and implementing proper safety standards and procedures begins by brainstorming situations and estimating the effects of not having reasonable safety procedures in place. Working without a plan, in a new production environment or where characteristics of the environment change, exposes workers to the “trial and error” effects on injury. It doesn’t take a whole lot of planning to foresee, prevent, or at least reduce the possibility for injuries.

When safety is compromised, injuries can increase a company’s overhead cost, which ultimately increases part costs and/or reduces a company’s profits.

Gene Barsaleau, 1 of our cost estimating trainers, who also had been working in the sheet metal business for 30 years, has the following recommended tips and real life experiences he shares here:

Top 10 Sheet Metal Safety Tips for Manufacturing that Affect Costs

1.) Gloves– Select good ones and don’t just carry them – wear them. “They can be a hand saver, even when you or your co-workers may think the immediate job is “a quick move and carry.”  Take the time to get your gloves on for protection. A simple cut not only can become a serious infection it can delay and/or affect your ability to remain employed. This costs you and your company money. Even if you are still able to work its likely you are operating less effectively.”

2.) Too big to handle – Recognize what is too big to handle. “Too many times I’ve seen workers, even family members, go at a job or task with the ‘I can do it attitude’ and that’s just when injury likes to lend a hand (no pun intended).”

3.) Don’t scrimp on hoisting equipment – “Material moving tools are expensive, but losing an employee is much worse. The good news is that an effective hoisting tool can greatly reduce the time to manufacturing parts by reducing the time to move parts and materials. The time savings converts to cost savings. Pass this cost savings along to your customer, reap higher profits, or both. It can be a win-win for all.”

4.) Don’t try to stop Inertia – Inertia, (the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion), rules how easy it will be to stop “out of control” metal from causing harm to you or others – “get out of its way.”

5.) Know the limits of fork lift trucks – Just because you aren’t the driver doesn’t mean you should be ignorant to its limitations of gravity and strength. “I once dropped a 40″ plate of steel because the back wheels lost contact with the floor.”

6.) Safety Glasses/ Helmets – “While it’s easy to throw this on the list it’s not easy, or acceptable, to show graphically what can happen to the eyes or head when impaled with flying debris – wear them always.”

7.) Hearing Protection – “What did you say? Don’t be a hero…save your hearing!”

8.) Steel toe shoes – “These can make a difference between having toes and not having them!”

9.) No loose clothing – We hear this more and more. “Don’t become another statistic because you had strings attached.”

10.) Don’t work under the influence – While obvious… always read the labels. “Even over the counter medications can affect your ability to function safely.”

Estimating Tools for Welding Manufacturers

Identifying welding time and the cost for various weld types has been an age old challenge for manufacturers. There are few companies to this day that have a good understanding and estimating tools or methods to determine what the times and costs are. Many companies have failed to take advantage of estimating software technology tools that’s available today. Also, they may have neglected to even look at their welding cost and how it might affect the outcome of winning the job or selling more products!

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The Evolution of Estimating

Estimating. From our parents, to our children, to a deli clerk halfway around the world, everyone is estimating something daily. In general, estimating is a computation of a value. In its everyday use we often compute the value in our heads. Like when you’re at the grocery store and trying to calculate how much chicken, burgers, and hot dogs you’ll need for the next day’s barbeque. You give it your best guess, and in most cases, that’s good enough.  Uncle Jim will survive if there’s no more hot dogs left. But what about when tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake? When the estimating determines whether or not your company wins an important contract that is vital to growth (or in some cases survival), is it still ok to use that same method? The obvious answer is NO.

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Is Cost Estimating The Old Fashion Way Costing You?

There nothing more frustrating for a manufacturer than spending hours, days, even weeks on a quote package only to find out you were not awarded the job. What a kick in the gut. What’s worse is if you find out the reason for losing the bid was because the quote was submitted too late or your quoted price was way out of whack compared to the competition.

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