Alexa Stanton – 2019 Don B. Daily Safety Intern
I was able to complete my internship with Ellwood Group Inc. in New Castle, Pa., USA. Since I worked at the corporate level within the company, I was given the opportunity to travel to many of the thirty business units. The main purpose of traveling to each business unit was to help accomplish steps taken towards the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program. At the beginning of the summer, I was assigned a project that took place at North American Forgemasters, Ellwood Mill Products and Ellwood City Forge. This project consisted of taking a chemical inventory for each business unit, plugging the inventory into an excel spreadsheet and uploading the corresponding safety data sheets into MSDSonline. Then I created secondary container labels for all oils and other chemicals that are put into smaller, portable containers throughout each plant.
My next main project was industrial hygiene and noise monitoring at McInnis Rolled Rings and Ellwood Texas Forge – Navasota. I was able to receive training from AM Health and Safety on using Scientific Kit Corporation (SKC) pumps and noise dosimeters and conduct this monitoring independently. Ellwood Group Inc. recently just purchased the McInnis Rolled Rings business unit, so the purpose of this monitoring was to establish a baseline to determine if further controls are needed. I sampled for total particulate, metals, respirable particulate, crystalline silica and carbon monoxide.
The last main project that I accomplished while interning for Ellwood was an ergonomics project at the Sharon Forge facility. Certain employees within this facility operate a hand grinder to grind out parting lines from a closed-die press on crankshafts. This causes problems to arise because of the heat that reflects off the crankshafts after they were just forged and strains and sprains due to awkward positioning while operating the grinder. I was able to work with an employee to construct a hand grinder guard for the workers. The guard was made of refractory that blocks heat, so the employee was able to eliminate the need to wear the second pair of gloves. This was effective because it decreased the amount of grip strength needed. Also, I developed a set of stretches that targeted the shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck for the employees to complete before each shift to increase mobility and flexibility. This will reduce the amount of strains and sprains from using the hand grinder in out of neutral positions.
While working with Ellwood Group Inc., the most challenging obstacle that I had to overcome was learning each different business unit’s process. Since I was only at each business unit for a short amount of time throughout the summer, I had a limited period of time to develop an understanding to how each facility functioned. I was lucky enough that Ellwood’s employees on the floor and upper management were helpful and more than willing to walk me through and explain the way their plant works. I couldn’t have asked for a more advantageous or educational company to experience my internship with. With my previous background as a laborer at Sharon Coating LLC, and my safety internship with Ellwood Group Inc., I am more than fascinated with the steel industry and expanding my knowledge of how this environment works. Upon graduation in December my goal is to further my career in the steel industry, but I am willing to expand my safety knowledge in different types of industries.