2 min read
Both rugged and beautiful, Cumbria is England’s most northwesterly (and wettest) county and is known for containing England’s highest mountains, some of its largest lakes and nearly 300 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSIs) for unique biological and/or geological qualities. The mountains force the moisture-laden Atlantic air to rise and form clouds; in bad winters, some of the central valleys are occasionally cut off from the outside world.
3 min read
To ensure safety at a construction site or manufacturing plant in summer months, it’s critical to assess and respond to heat-related health risks. According to the CDC, crews working in hot environments or those who are exposed to elevated temperatures around running equipment may be at risk of heat stress, resulting in heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rashes. Warmer temperatures can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as they can lead to sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses and dizziness.
“Heat safety is a priority and a key part of our broader company safety strategy at our manufacturing plant and warehouses,” says Signature’s Vice President of Operations Jeff Condino. “We’ve recently upgraded the entire ventilation system at our manufacturing facility and continuously monitor temperatures near heat-generating manufacturing equipment. We follow industry guidelines — as well as common sense — on keeping our valuable crews safe and healthy throughout the summer.”
As temperatures begin to increase, keep these five heat safety tips top of mind.
1. Be heat and humidity aware
As warmer temperatures occur, make a note to start tracking daily temperature and humidity forecasts, especially for daytime shifts. If conditions change quickly or new workers are hired, incrementally increase workers’ time in hot conditions over a week to two weeks to acclimate them to the environment. Managers should keep an eye on all workers for any signs of stress and allow workers to interrupt their work as needed.
Signs of heat exhaustion:
- Weak or tired, possibly giddy
- Pale, clammy skin
Signs of heatstroke:
- Mental confusion, delirium, fainting or seizures
- Body temperature of 106° or higher
- Hot, dry skin, usually red or bluish
2. Schedule multiple water breaks throughout summer months
Clean, cool water should be made accessible near the work area. If crews are in the heat for longer than two hours and are involved in moderate physical activity, workers should drink one cup (8 oz.) of water every 15 to 20 minutes, though not exceeding six cups per hour.
When the work involved causes prolonged sweating lasting several hours, sports drinks containing electrolytes should be available to help employees replenish and rebalance.
Cola, coffee and iced tea should be avoided during work hours, as caffeine is a diuretic. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. And when doing heavy work, it’s better to sip rather than gulp liquids.
3. Monitor temperature levels throughout work areas, especially around heat-generating equipment
At Signature’s U.S. manufacturing plant, thermometers are placed near heat-generating equipment, so workers and managers have a consistent reminder to be heat aware.
In addition to a thermometer, OSHA recommends these tools to monitor heat stress:
- Use an on-site wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) meter, the most accurate way (Morris 2018) to measure environmental heat impact on body temperature. WBGT incorporates temperature, humidity, sunlight and air movement into a single measurement. Review OSHA’s guidance for using and interpreting WBGT.
- Download the NIOSH/OSHA Heat App [iOS | Android] to access a simple heat calculator on your device. Remember that the Heat App provides only heat index (HI), not WBGT, although it does also offer workload guidance.
4. Provide adequate ventilation and air movement
According to OSHA, engineering controls such as increased airflow through ventilation, air conditioning or evaporative cooling can make the workplace safer.
Use exhaust ventilation in areas of high heat; shield radiant heat sources, such as furnaces or hot machinery; eliminate steam leaks and consider cooling vests if needed in extreme situations where frequent breaks aren’t practical.
5. In extreme heat, shorten work periods and increase rest periods
Consider shorter work periods, especially for heavier physical work, when temperature, humidity or sun intensity increases; when there is no air movement and if protective clothing or equipment is worn.
Empower supervisors and workers to slow down physical activity like reducing manual handling speeds or scheduling work for the morning or in shorter shifts with frequent rest breaks in the shade or at least away from heat sources, OSHA recommends.
Heat-related illnesses can have a substantial cost to workers and employers. OSHA encourages water, rest and shade as prevention as well as treatment for heat-related illness.
5 min read
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, is gearing up for a return to hosting a dynamic range of community events and shows.
In past years, the venue has hosted everything from global concert tours, the X Games and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four to a yearly Monster Jam with 5,400 kg (12,000 lb.) monster trucks revving up for backflips and 70 mph (113 kph) in-stadium speeds.
Protecting Sports Turf
The 3-year-old LEED Platinum certified stadium’s ambitious events schedule for 2020 is on hold for now — along with most global stadiums’ planned events — but the fixed-roof NFL stadium needed turf protection and recently invested in Signature Systems’ OmniDeck™ system. It also needed a safe, stable and attractive surface for future events.
“It’s really important here to have a high-quality turf protection system,” says Jeff Klein, U.S. Bank Stadium Assistant Director of Operations. “A lot of stadiums are outside, or they only use the decking eight to 12 times a year, where we, in typical years, use it 40 to 60 times.”
The stadium’s first installation of OmniDeck™, in January, was in advance of a spring lineup that included Home & Remodeling and RV Shows among other planned events that have since been rescheduled to protect the health and safety of the community during an unprecedented health emergency.
Many of the events the stadium has hosted are high-end galas or dinners “where the turf protection is more than turf protection, it’s the actual floor for the event,” Klein says. “So it needs to not only work well to protect the field, it also needs to look good for the actual event and provide a safe and seamless surface for easy access.”
Unique Puzzle-Piece Design
OmniDeck™ stadium turf protection meets those challenges and more, providing benefits that include:
- Superior strength and industry-leading protection
- Fast, omnidirectional installation to save on time and labor costs
- Safe and easy-to-carry panels to protect crews and equipment
- Efficient to transport and store for storage-challenged facilities
- Durable and reusable for many years for maximum ROI
- Attractive pearlescent “parquet-look” turf protection available in translucent or anthracite gray, or custom colors by special order for large installations.
For Klein, who oversees and plan all the conversions and changeovers of the building from event to event, installation and disassembly times must be fast and easy in order to maintain a typical season’s busy events schedule.
“Time is money, and having an efficient system is very important. It’s especially important here,” Klein says. The fast, omnidirectional installation was a key factor in his decision to go with OmniDeck™ as was the ability to get the desired color to complement the building.
“Working with Signature Systems is great because they always answer a call, and they sent a crew to help train us in the installation and maintenance of the new product. They’re here for support all through the process and then some.”
Learn more about OmniDeck™.
This article was originally published in Panstadia & Arena Management Magazine.
4 min read
If this is your first year to attend CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, you might want to prepare yourself. Yes, the show website calls it North America’s largest construction trade show, but you’ll honestly have to see it to believe it.
Consider the massive scope — attendance, sheer expanse of exhibit space and size of equipment represented. You’ll need to pace yourself — and do some pre-show planning — to take in the most relevant insights for you and your company.
- More than 2,000 exhibitors demonstrating products in lifting, hauling, earthmoving, asphalt, aggregates, ground protection, access, safety gear, new technology and more.
- 140,000-plus attendees from all over the world.
- More than 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, including massive indoor and outdoor displays.
ConExpo is different from other shows in that it’s a truly international show. It draws everyone who’s anyone in construction equipment and services, but also the tertiary industries including oil & gas, power transmission & distribution, trenching & shoring, pipeline installation, heavy haul transportation and more.
According to the show fact sheet, CONEXPO-CON/AGG is recognized as a meeting destination for global construction and construction materials industries, and hundreds of industry gatherings, including annual conventions of industry associations, are held in conjunction with the show.
Finding Your Way
Regarding the previously noted scale and scope, you will get lost, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can walk for days and not see every booth, so take some time to explore indoor and outdoor locations and take notes on new trends that could affect your company or industry.
The best way to find your way to specific destinations or meeting places is to download the show app on iTunes or Google Play before you even leave for the show. You can add favorites to your app, and when you arrive, the app will give you directions to booths, attractions and general product groups from where you’re standing. Search “CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE” in the app store for free download.
For a look at the latest trends in construction in modern mobility, sustainability and smart cities, take some time to visit the award-winning Tech Experience at Silver Lot 3 and the Festival Grounds.
Show sponsor AEM, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, will demonstrate through a 10- by 22-foot Smart City Replica how sensors and analytics can transform information into digestible data so cities can work smarter.
“Our goal for the Tech Experience in 2020 is to show contractors how all of these exciting new technologies will impact their current work, how the expectations and demands of customers will change and how the current state of infrastructure may change,” says Al Cevero, AEM senior vice president of construction, mining & utility.
If NASCAR is more your speed, catch NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick’s Tech Talk, who, with his crew chief, will discuss the role that technology plays in NASCAR and how it has evolved over the years.
Watch the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 Tech Experience: Smart Cities Preview video:
Interested in Composite Mats?
After many hours of looking up at all of those towering cranes, give your neck a break by stopping by Signature Systems’ booth in the Central Hall. We’re on the periphery of Central Hall C1-C2 at Booth #C22140. There will be plenty to look at underfoot — including our best-selling products MegaDeck® HD, SignaRoad® and DuraDeck® — that will make a huge difference for safety and stability on your next construction or industrial job site.
We’ll be happy to share with you how composite mats will save you time and money and show you how our innovative engineering team incorporates customer feedback and real-world challenges into product design. What sets us apart is our team. For Signature Systems, it’s all about the relationship, and a show like CONEXPO is where we’ve established and built lasting connections with many of our closest partners.
Come by to chat or compare show notes; we look forward to seeing you.
Jason Frew is Signature Systems’ Vice President of Business Development and Signature’s most veteran team member, starting in the company’s New York City office in May 2007. He offers expert advice and decades of experience with all of Signature’s industry-leading composite matting products including MegaDeck® HD, SignaRoad® and DuraDeck® .
5 min read
If you’re in the equipment and event rental industry, then The ARA Show in Orlando is the place to be Feb. 9–12. After many years attending the show, I can assure you it’s a can’t-miss event that offers inspiration and insights on new trends, a chance to network with top suppliers, customers and partners and of course allows you to stock up on equipment, supplies and products with exclusive access to the best deals of the year. Consider the following tips to get the most out of this year’s show.
1. Take Advantage of the Deals!
The ARA Show is unique in that customers come with a purchase list of products they need to replenish or buy for their rental stock to take advantage of special show promotions. For many other shows, like the Total Store Expo coming up this summer in San Diego, customers are coming primarily to stay tuned to trends and to connect with peers and might have different priorities in mind than “buy, buy, buy!”
If you already know what you’re in the market for — dance floors, carpeting, fencing, temporary pedestrian walkway systems, or other products — check this list on the show’s site to see who’s offering show-only specials. Stop by Signature’s Booth at #3230 and I’d be happy to fill you in on all of our promotions in our party and special events categories. We’ll also have a full team available to advise on construction and industrial flooring and ground protection products.
It’s also a good idea to reach out to your favorite suppliers now, before the show, to get some insights about what will be on sale, if there are sale or availability limits, and where the company will be on the show floor. Mark your map with who you want to visit first and plan your days accordingly.
2. Soak Up the Insights and Inspiration
According to the show’s FAQ list, give yourself at least two days to walk the show floor. More than 700 companies will be exhibiting, so there’s lots of ground to cover. Your exhibits-only registration includes all three days. Full registration or tickets for individual speakers will get you into all the extra seminars.
Marcus Lemonis, the Chairman and CEO of Camping World and star of CNBC’s “The Profit” is The ARA Show’s keynote speaker. Here’s what he had to say about being a part of this year’s event.
With full registration, if you miss a seminar or two, you can catch most on podcasts after the show. You’ll get an email link to those and also to download seminar handouts before the show. Warning, download the handouts ahead of time or access them through the show app on your phone as no printed handouts will be available.
3. Roll With the Technology
Speaking of the show app, download it on your Apple or Android phone ahead of time to help you make the most of the show. It’ll help you navigate the event with a floor map, exhibitor directory, seminar schedule and more. If you downloaded it last year and didn’t delete, you’re already good to go.
The ARA Show’s badges are now “smart” and have location tags so organizers can collect general demographic and attendance data to help plan for future events.
4. Keep Your Friends — and Competitors — Close!
Don’t miss the opening night party. It’s where we all seek each other out, break the ice, press flesh and sometimes discuss when to come by the booth and what you might find there.
And who are we kidding, The ARA Show is also a fabulous opportunity to scope out the competition to see what they’re selling, if they have anything new and what pricing they’re planning for the 2020 season. Knowledge is power.
Just a reminder, show rules say to ask an exhibitor’s permission before taking photos in a specific booth.
5. Stop by Signature Systems’ Booth for Deals and Previews
I invite you to come by Signature’s Booth #3230 so I can walk you through all of our current promotions for the show and also give you a sneak peek of our new event product, OmniDeck™ LD.
OmniDeck™ LD is huuuuuuuuuge! We’re already getting a lot of buzz around this new light-duty event flooring. Just a few of the benefits:
- OmniDeck™ LD’s puzzle-piece design allows for speedy deployment and the ability to build around obstacles in north, south, east and west directions simultaneously
- Protect turf from pressure points or friction, supporting weights of 200 psi/28,800 psf; compatible with OmniDeck™’s 600 psi/86,400 psf protection for a total events solution
- Lightweight (36 lbs./16.3 kg.), stackable panels reduce overhead costs through greater transportation and storage efficiencies
- Built-in safety features protect people and equipment
Our new and improved Signature® Panel Elite fencing is also hot this year. The bases are now square, not round, which makes them sturdier.
It’s also a great time to stock up on our crowd favorite California Portable Dance Floor — we’ll have samples available in the booth in both composite laminate and vinyl in several color options. We’re here to help you make your events shine!
Gauro Coen is based in Los Angeles and has led Signature’s events division from LA since 2010, creating and innovating for clients for events from trade and luxury car shows to Hollywood awards shows and premier national events like movie launches and the Super Bowl.
1 min read
To succeed in the events industry in 2020, “you have to be dynamic, you have to be flexible, and above all, you have to be in tune with attendee desires,” according to socialtables.com, in “19 Event Trends That Will Shake Up Meetings & Group Business in 2020.”
Three of Signature’s own — Lashanda Blake, Tammy Leranth and Spencer Vacula — have all of the above and were recently honored for their events contributions by being named to Exhibit City News’ “40 Under 40” list in the publication’s November/December 2019 issue.
Signature Systems’ HR Director Jennie Stephens says, “We are honored but certainly not surprised that three of our standout employees were recognized by Exhibit City News for their contributions in the events and trade show spaces. We see their product expertise and enthusiasm for helping our customers and partners achieve extraordinary results every day.”
Blake’s passion for helping people makes their events come to life. “There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that I had a hand in someone else’s creative vision,” Blake says in the article.
As for Leranth, “It doesn’t take long for you to see Tammy’s greatest strengths—it’s her attention to detail combined with a fantastic memory,” says Kenneth Mecca of Mecca Design & Production, who works with Tammy on trade show packages for Signature Systems.
Vacula earns his colleagues’ and industry respect for keeping his cool under pressure in the fast and furious event business. He especially enjoys coordinating client and vendor needs in a tight window, assuring all parties that the perfect product will be delivered on time.
The Signature events team looks forward to 2020 as forecast trends include strong growth for the meetings and events industry, plus a move toward the “festivalization” of conferences that include live music (such as the 2020 Forbes Under 30 Summit) to attract younger entrepreneurs.
Learn more about Signature’s career opportunities and work culture.
2 min read
Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, knocks it out of the park with a stunning stadium transformation, opening Enchant Christmas in November, just a month after the Tampa Bay Rays’ last American League playoff game against the Houston Astros.
2 min read
1. We work where you work.
Signature Systems’ heavy-duty construction mats are designed specifically for your high-traffic work sites including power transmission, oil rig and construction sites. MegaDeck® HD creates a stable platform or portable roadway anywhere in the world, regardless of climate, and can be used with minimal ground preparation over grass, gravel, soil, concrete, asphalt, mud and sandy soil conditions. Focus on your work first, not on how you'll get there.
3 min read
When disaster hits — a hurricane, tornado, wildfire or equally dramatic crisis — first responders must get to the disaster site quickly to start the important work of saving lives and protecting property. That’s why MLU Services’ immediate disaster response capabilities are so important.
3 min read
Are you warehouse aware? Matthew Joyce, Signature Systems’ Warehouse Supervisor, shares his top five tips on safety. Safety awareness is especially important in a dual office and warehouse environment like Signature’s Flower Mound, Texas, headquarters.
2 min read
In case it’s not yet on your radar, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) is returning to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville Oct. 1–3.
2 min read