As the calendar turns to winter, plenty of companies will be experiencing months of snowfall. All that snow requires pounds of rock salt to prevent falls on icy walkways and while employee safety is of the utmost concern during the snowy season, it’s important to keep the health of your machinery in mind. Salt is known to cause corrosion of metal if it’s allowed to build up over time, and workers are bound to track some of that rock salt onto the production floor of your factory. Keep these important tips in mind to stop rock salt from corroding your machinery this winter.
- Require shoe covers in any space with delicate machinery. We discussed this in a past blog post about winter preparation tips, and it’s an easy way to prevent an entire section of the factory from being overwhelmed by salt. It’s especially important for any space with a catwalk extending over top of machines.
- Reduce the production floor’s direct contact with the outdoors. Rapid temperature change is part of corrosion, but rock salt can break down into particles and get swept up in the wind. Make sure all doors leading directly outside are weatherproofed and airtight, and if possible, require workers to step through an airlock-like structure before setting foot on the production floor. Even a temporary structure of large plastic drapes can make a difference.
- Increase cleaning schedules on machinery. Doubling up the amount of time spent on cleaning machinery will help your teams stay proactive against dirt and salt buildup, protecting machinery for the long winter season. Some companies schedule cleaning after every use cycle.
- Invest in protective chemicals for your machinery, such as oils and waxes. A corrosion expert will be able to tell you which products are best, but there are several designed to prevent rust and naturally lubricate machinery in the process.
- Maintain work uniform/clothing standards on the production floor. Jackets, shirts, pants and other clothing worn outside can track in small amounts of salt kicked up in the air. By enforcing work uniforms such as coveralls and shirts that stay on the premises, you can reduce the possibility of salt contaminants in the building.
Struggling with ice and snow will always be a condition for factories operating in colder climates. With some careful preparation and extra measures, you can make sure your machinery makes it through the cold winter with minimal exposure to rock salt and corrosion. What are some ways your company deals with rock salt corrosion in the winter? Let us know in the comments below.