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Larry (from OSHA)

Larry (from OSHA)

Joined on November 24, 2003

Last Post on July 16, 2014

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Oh, those permits

@ August 28, 2012 11:41 PM in Tidbit #5: a guessing game

Ok Bob,  I get kind of narrow focused when talking permits and such and automatically think OSHA stuff. 

I think you and I think along the same lines pretty much.  Although, I don't think I ever would have thought of space aliens as a likely hazard either.  I did watch Independence Day last night for the umptheenth time and  still enjoy that movie!

So, if you have some guys working for you, I think they are fortunate to have a boss as considerate as you.  You have the kind of attitude i prefer to encounter in my inspections.

Thanks for the good conversation.


How do you know - What do you do?

@ August 28, 2012 10:16 PM in Tidbit #5: a guessing game

First of all, thanks to Bob for all his well spoken comments.  You do a better job of vocalizing this than I can.

From my point of view, training that provides an understanding of the hazards that someone could encounter and how to deal with them is essential.  We even have regulations that require as much. 

That HVAC guy that blew himself up that Bob talked about could have avoided all of that if he had enough training and the tools to assess the hazards in front of him. 

This conversation has mostly focused on what might be considered confined spaces.  Bottom line is who ever has to deal with going into some funky crawl space or where ever, needs to have the tools (training) to assess the situation and decide how to handle it. 

From where I sit, there is no situation, no - no heat call, no -  no hot water call, no -  have to enter a pit for an inspection of a piece of equipment to satisfy some code (ie. reduced pressure zone device) or what ever that exposes either an employee or an employer to hazards that need to and can be dealt with to prevent something bad from happening.

Tim, there is no specific rule on rattle snakes but there is industry recognition of critters as a hazard to deal with in the confined space regulation.  What you do with them, I don't know, but the worker should.

Bob, as far as permits go, if we are talking about OSHA confined space permits, there are no limitations like a 24 hour rule or something like that.  If you need to enter a permit space, you fill out your own permit and do what you need to.  If you are talking about something else, I obviously don't know what that is.

Every one here has the best interests of their people in their hearts and would feel really really bad if one of their own got hurt or killed.  The OSHA rules give the guidance to help prevent that.  From my experience, most business owners don't want some government schmuck to tell him how to run his operation, but most understand that we (us government schmucks) are only trying to prevent an injury or worse.

I am off my soap box now but am always available to answer questions about OSHA rules or whatever.

As always, thanks to Dan.  This continues to be the best community on the web.


Those pesky gubamint workers

@ July 25, 2012 3:37 PM in Tidbit #5: a guessing game

Hey Mark,
Just when you thought it was safe to light that torch, more darn regulations. 

Actually, the permit required confined space regulation includes lots of common sense stuff for keeping you and your workers alive.  Please Google 1910.146 and you will find out more than I can possibly put in words.  Or talk to Dave Yates about it.  He and I have traded a few emails over time about the ins and outs of going into questionalble places. 

As far as those permits go, you make your own, you fill it out yourself and you don't spend anything or wait for some inspector type to show up and say "Go forth and work". 

And trust me, I take no offense to your reaction.  As far as "common sense" goes, I've really tried to stop using the phrase because what's common for you and me isn't so common for someone else.  Over the years I've seen lots of things where you just scratch your head and think what the heck was that guy thinking when he stuck his hand in there (or whatever)  So what I think about this particular topic is that there are plenty of steps that can be taken to make sure that it is safe to go or do whatever and the OSHA regs provide a framework and some guidance to follow. 
Actually, the points that Bob Harper makes about testing before entering kind of follow what I seem to remember someone here saying more than once.  If you don't test, you don't know. 

I think that Bob's point and certainly mine is to get people to think first about what could be waiting for them on the job site.  It seems very apparent that the vast majority of boiler rooms, crawl spaces or whatever aren't just waiting to kill the next unsuspecting person who enters, but I suppose it's not a bad idea to think about what you might find.

So thanks for your comments and I'm always up for having any conversation where we might learn something from each other.  I've gotten a good deal of education from you over the years and always appreciate your perspective.


confined space

@ July 25, 2012 12:41 AM in Tidbit #5: a guessing game

Bob, you raise a good point.  That crawlspace that Plumdog describes would very likely be a permit required confined space.  As you said, routinely entering places like that should make you pause and re-think what you might encounter.  The actual OSHA definition of confined space and permit space is copied below.  Entering a permit space does require jumping through a few hoops first.

"Confined space" means a space that:

(1) Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and

(2) Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and

(3) Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

"Permit-required confined space (permit space)" means a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics:

(1) Contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere;

(2) Contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant;

(3) Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or

(4) Contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard.

Be safe.


What they do in England

@ April 19, 2012 4:50 PM in What they do in England

please send pictures

@ February 24, 2012 5:47 PM in Lochinvar Knight boiler problems

Hello cricka,

Really need to see several photos of your system.  How it is piped up and the more photos you can post, the better.  Even though you have a pretty good size home with perhaps marginal insulation, the KBN400 seems a bit large for your home.  If it is very oversized, this can lead to not getting the savings that you were expecting.  Post some pictures of the venting as well.  It sounds like some of your issues may be installation related.

I have a Knight KBN80 that has warmed our house since 2007 quite flawlessly.  Our place is about 3000 sq. ft. and fairly well insulated for your comparison.

People here can help you if you give more info.


Series of mistakes blamed for carbon monoxide death

@ February 22, 2012 2:17 PM in Series of mistakes blamed for carbon monoxide death

Rash of carbon monoxide poisoning sickens Twin Cities residents

@ February 14, 2012 11:05 AM in Rash of carbon monoxide poisoning sickens Twin Cities residents

I've seen those

@ November 25, 2011 8:38 PM in knightly cleaning

The trinity wand looks like a handy tool but I have been very happy using the little ball valve on the end of the hose that I have.  Very simple and it works.  The credit card is handy and flexible and won't break off in the hx so I'll just keep using it.  There really doesn't seem to be any efficiency difference between before and after cleaning, but the amount of crud isn't so much.  I suppose if the air or gas was really dirty things would be different. Bottom line, I love the boiler.  It has the best controls out there and since I do the maintenance, I'm still saving a bunch of dough.


really nice

@ November 25, 2011 8:26 PM in Thanksgiving Day Steam Boiler

I bet that some family is thankful and they don't even know how thankful to be.  Every bit of that install looks great.  Way to go!


knightly cleaning

@ November 16, 2011 5:48 PM in knightly cleaning

Here are a few pics of the latest cleaning.  The amount of crud was about the same as every other year.  Wildlife residing in the burner also similar to other years.  I think one of these days I'll put an intake filter in to keep these little guys out.  The credit card got lots of use between the coils and although I probably didn't need to lightly clean the flame sensor and igniter I did anyway.  The whole process takes about 2 1/2 hours and yes, I'm kind of slow, but thorough.  Pressure washing the coil used about 10 gallons of water and my system of sucking it out with a wet vac really works well.  This system has worked flawlessly since installed in 2007. 

The newpaper article

@ November 5, 2011 12:09 AM in Lofgren case coming to a head...

talked about the faulty boiler by brand name.  My memory is increasingly fuzzy these days, but wasn't it a case of improper venting installation and not the appliance?

If I'm mistaken, sorry about that but it seems that we often hear news reports of faulty equipment when the actual issue was an incorrect or disconnected vent system.

As a side note, I'm a bit surprised that there is a statute of limitations on negligent homicide.  Also, as a member of a regulatory agency, I do cringe when discussion turns to charging inspectors with negligence.  At the same time, it certainly seems inconceivable that if the inspector actually looked at the installation he did not see serious issues.  (Again, I don't remember the details of this event).  None the less, very sad all around.


you might try this

@ August 15, 2011 3:54 PM in Boiler piping

The Knight install manual has great diagrams.   Page 40 might be what you are looking for.

Hope this helps.



@ July 7, 2011 8:21 PM in Some prayers needed PLEASE !

Please know that we are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.  I've seen remarkable recoveries from such injuries and hope for a speedy and very good recovery for your family.  If you don't know about CaringBridge,    (   it might be something to look into. 


have you thought of this?

@ May 2, 2011 7:07 PM in Thoughts on DHW circulation return controls for MFD settings...

Hi Mark.  I've been using the small version for single family residential for a few years with good results.  (When it was Laing)  I did chop out the timer because it was a bit noisy and plugged it into an electronic timer.  Works great.  Low velocity so it shouldn't eat the pipes.


Another year older

@ January 27, 2011 11:21 PM in Happy Birthday Dan Holohan!

And another year wiser.

Happy B-day Dan.  All the best.


Thanks for that Dan

@ January 13, 2011 9:55 AM in Thanks for that Dan

Ok, so I scan the Thursday newletter like always, scrolling down the page and come to the "We don't sell this but" and figure Ok, I'll check this out since Dan really, really thinks I should.

After just a few lines into the first review, my day has been changed dramatically.  I'm laughing out loud at my desk and co-workers need to check my condition. 

Thanks Dan.  I don't know how you find this stuff.  There are some exceptionally creative people out there.


big start to the season

@ December 16, 2010 9:48 AM in How's your weather?

Perhaps you have seen the deflated Metrodome and reports of a foot and a half of snow here in the Twin Cities.  Saturday was lots of fun digging out just to have the plow come by three times building and rebuilding the snow hedge at the end of the driveway.  I know the folks in Upstate New York laugh at amounts like this, but hey, it's still a lot of snow.  The below zero temps that followed didn't help much either.

But on the bright side, my little Knight was just humming along.


this might be what you are looking for

@ November 29, 2010 2:07 PM in Long thread on metallurgy/mod-cons?

There was lots of good input on this one.  Might be the one you wanted.



@ October 18, 2010 12:25 AM in anode question

I've replaced the crusty aluminum anode with a nice new magnesium one and the next time I flush the tank, I don't expect to see the milky looking water that has usually been present.  The old anode was five years old and I hope to get a similar life out of the new one.

Thanks for everyone's input and help.


anode question

@ September 25, 2010 8:31 PM in anode question

I wanted to check this out a few years ago, but today was the day.  With the amount of crud on this thing, does it still work?  I scraped off what I could and put it back in, but is this normal?  And since it is still mostly still there, do I need to replace it, or what?  I suppose that most folks don't even look at anodes ever, but I did.  It's set to 140 degrees, tempered down to 120.

I appreciate any and all points of view.



Fertile couple still feeling the affects of carbon monoxide poisoning

@ September 24, 2010 8:51 PM in Fertile couple still feeling the affects of carbon monoxide poisoning

Lucky to be able to tell the story
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