Category Archive: News

Infra-Metals Receives The 2021 MSCI Safety Innovation & Improvement Award

On May 11, 2022, Infra-Metals and Delta Steel received the 2021 MSCI Safety Innovation & Improvement Award for the the Infra-Metals Trailer Rail Safety System.

In early 2019, our company had experienced several injuries and/or near misses resulting from falls from trailers. As a result, we challenged ourselves to find a solution to eliminate and reduce the fall risk while working on top of a trailer deck.

The Infra-Metals Trailer Rail Safety System is a fall prevention safety device which provides a barrier around the perimeter of the fall hazard when working on top of a flat bed trailer deck. The system eliminates the fall hazard that would normally require a fall protection device. It is lightweight, portable, durable, and can be installed quickly by attaching the safety device to the trailers existing rub rail. The safety device is made from welded and bent tubing and can be sized to fit multiple trailer configurations and can used in area’s where width is a concern. A newer version with a walk platform has been developed when materials prevent a walking area on the trailer and casters were added for ease of movement.

From Concept to Execution

We created a multi-location team that consisted of a mix of shop personnel and our highest-level management to brainstorm and test potential solutions. Our research revealed that while we could reduce the number of times, we got onto the trailer deck there were still circumstances where it was unavoidable. We reviewed, purchased and tested several promising devises that were available on the market, but none were effective in meeting our operational requirements.

Infra-Metals and Delta Steel personnel were collectively brainstorming amongst our locations for potential solutions to keep employees safe while working on top of trailers.  At the time, Greg Borchardt was the General Manager of Infra-Metals in Petersburg, VA but was transitioning to take over for retiring VP of Operations – Mike Dean, who had initiated the project. We reviewed several different safety devices such as attachable netting and tie-off devices.

During one of these conversations, our GM in our Infra-Metals Marseilles location, Dave VonHolst, mentioned that he had seen some loading platforms in the nearby Nucor Tubular Mill.  He inquired with them and was able to get some drawings and was offered a set of platforms to try as a loan.  These were nice and spanned the full length of the trailer, included a platform to stand on, a handrail to keep you from falling, and they were on casters.  The only problems were that they were heavy and wide.  They would not work in our facilities due to the width requirements.

Around the same point in time, our Infra-Metals Wallingford facility had purchased a set of aluminum side rails that would fit into the stake pockets of a trailer.  They were conducting a trial of these in their loading operation and they worked, but it took a lot of time to set them up and take them off.  They were also difficult to pick up by yourself and get high enough in the air to seat them in the pockets.  They were safe but not effective and management worried about the strain of setting 6 of these per trailer on every trailer we handled.  These devices would solve the fall risk issue but it would create a strain and sprain hazard in our work environment.

There were several requirements we had established:

  • The device had to be slim
  • Be easy to move around
  • Use casters to eliminate the to lift it
  • Support a persons’ weight if they fell against it
  • Prevent a fall risk while on a trailer deck

We studied the drawings and the pictures of the potential solutions and evaluated the benefits of both. We needed to somehow take the effectiveness of both and make them work for our facilities.

The Solution

 The trailers have side rails and stake pockets that we can hook into to provide the lateral stability, so the base doesn’t need to be wide to make them stable if we hook them onto the trailer. We drew out a very rough sketch. It was skeleton made from handrail pipe with wheels and a sliding hook that you could roll up to a trailer, slide the latches up and then hook them onto the side rail.  We decided that it needed to be 16’ long which would be light enough to roll in and out of place easily and only take 3 devices per side to cover the entire length of a flat bed trailer.  We then took the sketch to the Operations Manager of Infra-Metals Petersburg – Roy Glass and Maintenance Supervisor – Joe Krevonich. We asked them to put their heads together and build a prototype that we could test.  It took them about a day, and they had built the first prototype that they thought would work. We took some videos and sent them to Mike Dean, who was Vice President at the time, and explained the concept to him through short videos of the device.

As it turns out, Mike had been asked to sit on a task force with other Reliance Steel and Aluminum family of company’s personnel to try and solve this problem.  Also a member of this task force was Ed Comer, who is a Safety Specialist with Reliance that we have worked closely with in the past to solve many different problems. They took the ball and ran with.  We worked with a fabricator who was also a customer to develop a 3D CAD drawing for the device.  Another Reliance Steel company with engineers on staff made sure the safety device would handle the lateral load.  They also produced a set of fabrication drawings to build from.  Mike then sent Greg the drawings so we could have a local fabricator customer build a set of 6.  We were able use these to evaluate the safety device on the shop floor in a real operational setting.

When this first set of 6 were complete, we put them to use in the Infra-Metals Petersburg warehouse.  The feedback from our operators was mixed.  They understood the benefit, but it was also another step in the operation, and it slowed them down.  As we continued our live evaluation, we realized it only took a few minutes at each stop for the trailer.  It wasn’t strenuous and the devise didn’t take up valuable space. The device performance exceeded expectations for eliminating the fall risk while working on a flat bed trailer.

With the support of our President Mark Haight, we rolled them out to all of our locations.

Commitment to continual improvement:

As we began to roll the devices out and use them, one of our locations met with yet another fabricator customer to potentially build them locally.  Our General Manager at our Infra-Metals New Boston Facility – PJ Rase and the customer produced another iteration.  They built a narrow rail that still hooks into the trailer but added a working platform to it.  These had the benefit of a stable platform to work from with a handrail but still maintaining a small enough width to be useable in our facilities.  We found that when  you use the original narrow rail on one side of the trailer and the larger rail with the platform on the other side the safety device was also complementing our production requirements.

Lessons Learned

As it goes with all good stories, there’s a plot twist at the end.  Today we have the safety rails located and in use at all of our Infra-Metals and Delta Steel locations.  We also have been able to establish a firm policy that nobody is permitted on a trailer unless they have the safety rails in place.  The twist is that we have continued to introduce “No-Touch” tools and find innovative ways to eliminate the necessity to get on top of flat bed trailers.

While we have significantly reduced the number of times, we get on top of a flat bed trailer with the use of these tools we understand our operations will continue to face scenarios when working on top is the only way to perform certain tasks on a flat bed trailer.

  • OSHA shows in 2020 flatbed trailers have been involved in 592 major injuries or fatalities.
  • Infra-Metals and Delta Steel had approximately 60 near-miss or OSHA recordable injuries from 2015 through 2019 working on top of flatbed trailers.
  • Infra-Metals and Delta Steel reduced the number of near-misses or OSHA recordables to approximately 4 from the time the flat bed trailer safety device was introduced in 2019 through 2020

Conclusion

We have significantly reduced the number of flatbed trailer near-misses and injuries due to the introduction of the “Trailer Safety Rail System” and our “No Touch” tools but our job is not done. We are committed to not just moving steel, but moving steel safely. At Infra-Metals and Delta Steel our number one priority is the safety of our team members, and we will continue to seek innovative ways to do our jobs safer.

Infra-Metals Co. was founded in 1990 intent on becoming the premier steel service center servicing the structural steel market. Since our inception, we have grown into one of the largest service centers with locations along the East Coast from New England to South Florida as well as into the Midwest from Illinois through Ohio and on through the Southwest in Texas. Delta Steel, Inc. is also a member of the Infra Metals organization and both belong to the Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. Family of Companies.

 

 

Infra-Metals Virginia Safety Milestone

On Thursday April 28th , Infra-Metals Virginia

marked 1000 days without an OSHA recordable accident in Petersburg. Everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated and we couldn’t have achieved this accomplishment without your hard work and dedication to our safety program.  As the saying goes; “safety is no accident”. The message we preach can sometimes get stagnant or repetitive, but results speak for themselves.  Keep up the good work and let’s set another milestone!

Join Us at the 2022 International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind

Join us at the 2022 International Partnering Forum for Offshore Wind at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey April 26th-28th at booth# 413. IPF is the premier offshore energy conference in North America. Hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind, IPF connects global leaders and businesses in the supply chain offers unparalleled networking opportunities, and delivers breaking updates on the industry, from technology to policy.

IPF is the largest offshore wind conference in the Western hemisphere. It brings together the global offshore wind supply chain and provides the latest in education, networking, and platforms to help you grow your business.

Register Today!

Event Registration Includes:

  • An anticipated 2500+ attendees
  • 200+ Exhibitors
  • 100+ Speakers
  • 15+ Networking and Parties
  • 10 Workshop Tracks
  • Unlimited Opportunities to Connect through WindMatch
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks & Coffee throughout the Event

The Fabricator’s Manufacturers and Suppliers Event

 

 

Join us on April 5th, 2022 to learn more about how Infra-Metals supplies fabricators with carbon structural steel throughout the project lifecycle. The Fabricator’s Manufacturers and Suppliers Event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg. Register for free to gain access to the latest production and manufacturing processes as well as network with attendees and industry professionals.

Keynote speakers include Mike Cowden – Steel Market Update and Stephanie Hoffman – UnderGround Metal Works. Download the event PDF here for more details.

Infra-Metals is the premier service center carrying the largest and most diverse inventory on-hand and available for immediate shipment. You will find everything from angles and merchant bars to wide flange beams, tubing and plate. Click here to review our catalog of products that we offer.

Additionally we offer many first stage processing services which allow you to take delivery and begin fabrication more quickly, saving you time and money. Click here to learn more about our processing services offered at many of our locations across the country.

 

NASCC: The Steel Conference returns to Denver, CO.

NASCC: The Steel Conference is back this year to Denver, CO. March 23-25. It has been several years since we have been able to meet in person at one of the largest structural steel conferences in North America.

NASCC is the premier educational and networking event for the structural steel industry bringing together structural engineers, structural steel fabricators, erectors, detailers, and architects.  With over 235+ exhibitors showcasing products ranging from structural design software to machinery for processing structural steel, the show has some to offer everyone including many networking opportunities. There are over 200+ educational sessions that cover topics such as the latest design concepts, construction techniques, and cutting-edge research. 

You’ll find Infra-Metals exhibiting at Booth #1803, near the front entrance of the tradeshow floor, adjacent to the large machinery exhibits.  Stop by to talk to our team and see how Infra-Metals can assist you in your next project delivery by utilizing our extensive inventory and processing capabilities.

Learn more about how we address the project life cycle and how we can help reduce the overall costs of your project. Additionally we work with many of the fabrication software applications serving the structural steel industry for project management. Stop by and ask one of our team members for more information.

We’re not just another supplier. Consider us an extension of your shop. Click here for more information regarding NASCC: The Steel Conference

#BuiltWithSteel  

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 21′

Join us in celebrating National Truck Drivers Appreciation Week September 12-18, 2021! We’ve been tested to our limits over the last 18 months and this week we celebrate those that have been there through it all, delivering the goods and services needed to keep our country moving forward. From the food served at our tables to the vaccines and emergency supplies that have kept us safe and healthy, truck drivers show up to keep delivering vital supplies to our homes and businesses, even with risk to themselves.

Founded in 1998 by the American Trucking Associations, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week highlights why tucking is critical to our nation’s economy. Thank you to all the hard working men and women drivers who work hard day in and day out! Here are some of the pictures taken during this years celebration across Infra-Metals locations. NTDAW2021 Photo Album

 

Next time you see a trucker give them a shout out of appreciation for all they do!

#NTDAW

#thankadriver

#honkforhighwayheroes

#NTDAW2021

#ThankATrucker

#nationaltruckdriverappreciationweek

Summer Food Drive with Feeding Tampa Bay

Our Tampa Plant recently participated in a Cereal for Summer Food Drive with Feeding Tampa Bay.

Our Tampa employees heard the plea from this Organization to help with the never ending fight for childhood food insecurity. During the summer months, 1 in 4 children are food insecure.  They needed the support from the local community, more than ever, as they are not guaranteed free or reduced meals that they have grown to depend on in school. Once our employees heard this heartfelt message, they needed to act quickly. Our employees brought in boxes of cereal, instant oatmeal, pop tarts, and bags of chips.

 

 

We are a thriving company that wishes to give back to our community for which we live, work and play in. Infra-Metals Tampa are proud of their employees and their giving hearts!!!

Tampa Participates In Second Chance Job Fair hosted by Grace Family Church

On Tuesday, June 8th, our Infra-Metals Tampa Traffic Manager, Edwin Rivera and HR-Safety Manager, Jennifer Goulbourne, participated in a Second Chance Job Fair hosted by Grace Family Church at their Ybor City Tampa Campus.

Job seekers were able to connect with competitive employers, while gaining access to different service agencies like Florida Restoration Rights Coalition, the States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Health, and more. Our community partners also offered resume workshops and coaching to participants, as well as business attire. This job fair helped empower and practically equip members of our community for success.

Infra-Metals Tampa was pleased to take part in the Second Chance Job Fair.

Florida Division Has Operated Two Years Accident Free!!!

We are pleased to announce that on March 6, 2021, our Infra-Metals Florida Division employees, have worked 2 Years Accident Free!!! Our employees have worked over 117,640 hours and shipped 159,280 tons without injury.  This is an extraordinary accomplishment!

When we asked our employees, what keeps them motivated to work safely, their answer was to go home to their families in one piece, every day and for their fellow workers to do the same. When we asked our employees, what their favorite safety quote was, many of them answered “Safety, Quality, Production”. Finally, when we asked our employees, what can we do better as a company in regards to safety, their answer was that they wanted us to continue encouraging them to work Safely. They wanted us to continue to provide them with the tools necessary to work safely.

As we celebrate and honor our employees who have reached this milestone, we all recognize that they must continue to work safely, as their work is far from being done. We are so proud of our employees and their similar mindset of wanting to live in the culture of Safety First.  As a company, we want our employees and their families to know, that our mission is to ensure the safety of all our workers, as they are our Number One Priority!

These pictures are of our employees who have worked hard to be accident free over the last 2 years and counting.

Congratulations and a job well done Tampa!

NASCC 2021 Virtual Exhibitor

Registration for NASCC The Virtual Steel Conference is now open.

This is event will be held April 12-16, 2021. Click here for more information and to register for this event.

This virtual event has something for everybody with over 150+ educational sessions and networking opportunities. The NASCC conference has long been the go to conference for the structural steel fabrication community.

What is NASCC?

Credit aisc-nascc.wixsite.com/nascc21/attend“NASCC: The Steel Conference is the premier educational and networking event for the structural steel industry bringing together structural engineers, structural steel fabricators, erectors, detailers, and architects. In addition to practical seminars on the latest design concepts, construction techniques, and cutting-edge research, the conference also offers an extensive trade show, featuring products ranging from structural design software to machinery for cutting steel beams, and many networking opportunities.”

 

Infra-Metals is pleased to be a sponsor and exhibitor at this event and we look forward to networking with you and your business. Visit our booth here.