February 25th, 2013
Department of Labor statistics routinely cite musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) as one of the major sources of injuries to healthcare workers. Americans are older and heavier than ever, and as a result, healthcare workers now have a MSD incident rate that is 7 times the average of other industries. Most industry experts agree that patient handling tasks such as repositioning patients, lifting patients in and out of bed, and placing patients on exam tables put healthcare workers at increased risk for MSD’s. There is also a general consensus that mechanical lifts can improve safety for patients and healthcare providers alike.
Hospitals and clinics use two styles of patient lifts to reduce MSD’s: portable lifts and permanently installed, ceiling style patient lifts. Although portable, rolling sling require no installation and can be moved from room to room, ceiling-mounted patient lifts offer added patient and caregiver safety. When considered a permanently mounted overhead patient lift system, special care must be taken to design and install adequate support structure to ensure the safety of the patient and staff members. Failure of the support structure can have catastrophic consequences. Read the rest of this entry »
October 19th, 2012
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We recently completed installation of a support structure for a heavy service boom inside a Pittsburgh area hospital. This installation was extremely time sensitive because shutting down this portion of the hospital would have required hours of coordination with hospital staff and allowing this Cath Lab to sit idle for days would have resulted in significant amounts of lost revenue.
Some contractors utilize traditional structural steel and red iron supports when fabricating medical equipment supports but they are beginning to learn about new and improved construction techniques. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27th, 2012
Thanks to its ease of installation and adjustability, Unistrut channel is often specified during the construction of overhead medical equipment support grids. The safe and effective use of catheterization c arms, radiology equipment, lights, and service booms suspended by Unistrut support grids requires proper calculations of load, deflection, and rotation. This Tech Talk post discusses how to make accurate calculations to ensure both optimal equipment performance and the safety of your installation.
One common mistake is the misuse of the “beam load tables found in the Unistrut General Engineering Catalog and on the Unistrut Service Company website. Please note that the standard “beam charts” shown below provide the MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE UNIFORM LOAD. Most actual cases will require some type of “reduction factor” to properly determine the actual load capacity of the strut. Read the rest of this entry »
June 30th, 2012
Although our Tech Talk Blog typically features stories that describe the installation and use of Unistrut Products, today’s post treats an innovative Hilti product we offer to support medical equipment in hospitals and medical settings.
Installing a ceiling support grid for medical equipment often requires contractors to work around existing pipes, electrical, and other MEP systems. Although contractors often use red iron structural steel supports to suspend ceiling grids from ceilings in hospital settings, significant cost savings and versatility make the Hilti MI Support System an excellent alternative to traditional construction methods. This system also helps keep hospital construction and upgrade projects on schedule by preventing the need for extra work, such as welding and rerouting of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems.
Structural steel and red iron supports add to project costs by requiring fabrication time in the shop and in the field. In addition, red iron supports must be custom designed to the unique specifications of each piece of medical equipment that is to be hung or supported.
Because Hilti MI components are modular, they can be pulled from the shelf in stock lengths and installed immediately without welding. They accommodate a wide range of equipment models made by major medical equipment manufacturers, including GE, Toshiba, Siemens and Philips, for operating rooms, CT, x-ray equipment and heart catheterization labs. The Hilti MI system can support even the heaviest types of diagnostic devices, including C arms and heart cath equipment, which can weigh in excess of 3,000 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »
March 9th, 2012
We often receive calls from Contractors, Architects and Engineers wanting to play an active role in the design of a Unistrut Medical Equipment Support System. Since one of the most common applications is a Radiology (X-Ray) grid, we will discuss some design issues associated with these types of installations. Read the rest of this entry »
July 11th, 2011
Unistrut Framing Channel is specified and used for a wide range of medical and hospital applications, including over head X-Ray machine supports for radiology rooms, supports for operating room lights, monitors, service booms and medical gas columns, and CRT monitor supports. The bolt-together design of Unistrut medical support systems allows for installations to be completed with standard hand tools thereby eliminating the need for special jobsite welding accommodations or the cutting of structural steel. With this said, it is important to specify and utilize genuine Unistrut framing channel instead of inexpensive knock-off materials of an unknown origin which can fail when subjected to significant load pressures. Read the rest of this entry »