Tipsy Plastic Towers

Our friends at the Chase Field baseball stadium in Phoenix have field protective flooring for non-baseball live events stored on stacked pallets in an open lot just down the street from the stadium. Recently, one of their security staff was driving by and alertly noticed that some of the stacks looked like they were about to fall over.

Did the wind shift them around? Rhino Staging was called to pitch in and get the stacks straightened. The concern was urgent about the stacks falling over and someone getting hurt; the lot is also used for parking for baseball games and other events in the area.

The Heat Is On

It turns out that wind was not the culprit, but extreme heat. Phoenix is in the grip of the record-setting heatwave that has gripped much of the US. On the day we received the call from Chase Field, Phoenix was 27 days into a string of high temperatures above 110° with lows never dropping below 90°. The stacks for flooring had been out in that extreme heat for 7 days (following the Morgan Wallen show at Chase Field) and the plastic pallets were failing due to the heat and the weight stacked on them.

Intense Forklift Jenga

Rhino Phoenix was able to get three forklift operators (C.C. Cummings, Jonathan Chatfield, and Taylor McCord) to leave the calls they were and rush over to see what could be done. This was around 9 AM, but the heat was already on and after a few hours of work the whole operation was shut down because both crew and forklifts were overheating. The decision was made to return at 4 AM the next day when the heat would be less intense and the plastic pallets less pliable.

As good fortune would have it, an overnight dust storm dropped the temperatures down to the high 80s and Taylor McCord, Alex Muguia, Jeff Tauman, and Rhino Phoenix’s Director Jayson Adamsen took advantage of the cooler temps in the early hours to “play some intense forklift Jenga”, as Jayson put it. After a few hours and a lot of great teamwork, they were able to re-stack the pallets into a single level that was much more stable.

Is such extreme, prolonged heat the new normal for summertime in the US?

We hope not, but we don’t know. When you encounter it, be vigilant for your well-being and that of your co-workers. Surprising, not-foreseen situations like plastic pallets failing in the heat might well occur. Kudos to the Chase Field security staff member for their awareness and good sense in acting immediately to avert further trouble.

Fellow Rhinos, read “2022 Safety Bulletin – Heat Awareness” located in the “Safety” section of Think Rhino, the Rhino Staging employee portal. This safety bulletin contains vital information on heat illness signs and symptoms and protective measures to stay safe in hot weather.

Stay Cool

Well done to Jayson and his team for taking on this unusual challenge with a collective cool head (no pun intended!) and a positive can-do approach. Our clients truly appreciate it and that for us is the rising tide that lifts all boats.