How To Prepare Your Haws Outdoor Drinking Fountains and Bottle Fillers for Winter

During cold seasons, it is important that outdoor drinking fountains and bottle fillers are equipped for the potentially harsh winter weather. Many drinking fountains and bottle fillers are designed to withstand extreme climate conditions from an external durability standpoint, yet it is pertinent to ensure internal waterways do not freeze and create damage.

If you have an outdoor drinking fountain and/or bottle filler that has a bury valve installed below the frost line and a freeze-resistant push button, or an outdoor wall-mounted fountain with a freeze valve box and waterways inside of the building (kept at above 50°F [10°C]), then the equipment does not require any additional maintenance or preparation for winter conditions and can be left on for use throughout all seasons.

Any hydration products installed in areas that reach freezing conditions should be inspected for freeze-resistant components. Check the owner’s manual for component details. If it is determined that the equipment is not freeze-resistant by design, then follow the steps outlined below to winterize your outdoor hydration equipment.

Winterizing Your Haws Drinking Fountain or Bottle Filler

All Haws drinking fountains and bottle fillers use a patented push button activation valve (5874PB/5874PBF) with front access for adjusting stream height, and for replacing the cartridge by use of a simple spanner wrench. This allows for easier access and maintenance.

STEP 1: Turn off water via the shutoff or on/off valve
STEP 2: Disconnect supply line tubing from the shutoff valve at the lowest point and let water drain from the tubing
STEP 3: Remove the cartridge from the push button valve
A. Remove button using the provided spanner wrench. Button must be rotated so spanner wrench holes line up. Twist off push button.
B. Remove the cartridge retaining nut using the spanner wrench by twisting counterclockwise until the nut pops off
C. Remove cartridge and store for reuse
STEP 4: Thread the retaining nut back on along with the push button

For models that do not use the Haws Model 5874PB Push Button or any other questions, please call Technical Support at 800.766.5612 or [email protected].

6 Ways to Winterize Your Plant

Most manufacturers do a great job at mitigating hazards and risks from the work environment, but what happens when the seasons change? OSHA has issued more than 2,500 citations from October 2012 to September 2013 due to manufacturing plants having potential hazards due to the change in season, particularly during winter.

Below are various ways to “winterize” your plant to ensure the elimination of potential for OSHA fines and, more importantly, to provide a safe work environment for your employees.

1. Appropriately equipped company vehicles

Ensure company vehicles are equipped with the proper safety equipment. Examples of these are having snow tires, having chains available when needed, and replacing windshield wipers on a regular basis.

2. Slick floors: slips and falls

When employees enter the plant from outside, they may track in ice, snow or mud that could turn into a trip hazard.  In addition, loading docks are primarily located outside of the building and are exposed to the harsh weather but are still considered a part of the plant. Be sure to have absorbent mats at every entrance. Use ice melt salt or blast heaters on sidewalks and loading docks.

3. Proper communication during hazardous weather

Specifically if a plant manager or president has made the decision to close the plant, management should let employees know about the closure through mass emails, text messages, or phone calls early enough so employees are not already on their way to work. This holds true for mass transportation shut downs or if driving conditions become too hazardous during the workday for workers to attempt to journey home.

4. Prevent electrical shock

Melting snow from shoes and boots create standing pools of water that can be a shock hazard for improperly grounded equipment or for employees plugging in hand tools, lights, space heaters, or other devices. Make sure that your maintenance team is on the lookout for standing water and educate employees about the hazards of electricity and water.

5. Mitigate contamination

Workers can track all types of contaminants into the building via their shoes and boots whether it is ice melt salts or sand. This is especially problematic if you manufacture food products or any other type of product that these could contaminate. Keep factory areas clean by sweeping frequently or cleaning floors more often, and provide shoe covers if your product needs to be very sanitary or unpolluted.

6. Machine safeguards

In winter, people tend to wear long sleeves and to dress in layers of bulkier clothing. Bulky clothing may make it harder to operate equipment–it can easily catch on handles, switches, or levers–so it’s important to ensure you have proper safeguards on every piece of machinery.

Manufacturing can be hazardous at the best of times, but winter has special challenges. Watch for these areas of concern and your plant safety record will be intact come spring.

[via OH&S]