Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight, December 23, 2020

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1322383

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION DECEMBER 23, 2020 Page 2 Cold Weather Tips for Sinks…continued from page 1 Continued on page 10 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards have always required hand washing including hot and cold, or tepid, running water. In the past these standards haven't been enforced. Since COVID, we've seen more attention to these requirements, and it is only going to be good for workers and the portable sanitation industry if that continues. However, that means we need ways to keep sinks from freezing. Sink manufacturers are working on longer term solutions to keep sinks from icing over. But for now, most sinks have hoses and tanks that will freeze when the temperature drops below 32F/0C. We needed ideas for how to keep them functioning anyway. At our recent Virtual Convention and Trade Show, and at a subsequent Virtual Roundtable, we covered sink options for winter with a lot of help from Derek Pauling, owner of Biffs in Shakopee, Minnesota as well as other northern veterans. Thinking outside the Box Since the equipment wasn't going to change as fast as the weather, to quote Derek, "So with sinks, Biffs had to look at different options. And so we got creative." Pauling says his company leaders started thinking about equipment and supplies they could use that they already owned to keep the sinks warm. • Concept 1: Modify an ADA-compliant unit to become a heated "sink house." To do this, Biffs removes the ADA sticker temporarily. Then they place a hand wash unit inside along with a standard winter heater as shown in the image at right. In Minnesota, unit heaters are required in the winter. In other locations they are just a good idea because they make the user's experience better and they provide a revenue source for the company. Derek says, "We put the sink inside there, and we cover all the vents. I was skeptical that this would work, but we were covering the vents with the same materials that you would use, say, if you have a drafty window at your house…and it's working pretty well." The plastic sheeting helps hold the heat inside and prevents customers from using DIY tactics like using duct tape to close up the vents. That would make a mess of the unit. If you use this approach, it is important to make sure your customer understands that the unit must be heated all the time. Biffs has learned that it is natural for customers to think they should unplug the heater at night or over the weekend. Of course, the weather doesn't take a break, and when the electricity is off the units freeze. So it's important to keep the heater going at all times. Derek Pauling

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