Eggo® my roof

CFE demonstrates safety skills on Kellogg’s® production facility in Kentucky

  • A cooling area was established on ground level for worker breaks.
  • Areas with bad decking were identified and marked for replacement.
  • Temporary walkways were constructed to protect the existing rooftop from further damage.
  • The 24-hour plant was shut down at scheduled times to allow the CFE team to work on critical roof areas throughout the day and night.
  • The night-shift team removed materials and prepped the roof for the second-shift team.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.® The cartoon mascots for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® cereal have been seen in commercials merrily snapping, crackling and popping in a bowl of milk. From Corn Flakes,® Raisin Bran® and Frosted Flakes® cereals to Pop Tarts,® Pringles® chips, Cheez-It® crackers and Eggo waffles, nearly every household in the U.S. has enjoyed a Kellogg’s food product.

During a failed attempt at making granola, company founder W.K. Kellogg and his brother John Harvey Kellogg, a physician, changed breakfast forever when they accidentally flaked wheat berry. W.K. Kellogg kept experimenting until he flaked corn and created Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. In 1906, W.K. Kellogg founded his company and brought to life his vision for great-tasting, better-for-you breakfast foods. In 1923, the Kellogg Company became the first in the food industry to hire a dietician, and in 1930, it became one of the first companies to display nutritional information on cereal boxes.

Since 1906, Kellogg’s has expanded to 434 office locations and produces food in 18 countries. In 2017, the company’s production facility in Florence, Ky., needed help with a failing roof system. CFE Inc., Apex, N.C., a subsidiary of Evans Roofing Co., Elmira, N.Y., was awarded the 96,000-square-foot roofing project that took two years to complete.

Safety preparations

In June 2017, the CFE roofing team began work on Kellogg’s Florence facility that produces ready-to-eat products.

The first challenge for CFE team members was figuring out how to complete roofing work while allowing the facility to maintain operations without compromising food quality through a breach of salmonella, listeria or other harmful bacteria.

CFE associates attended a Kellogg’s ready-to-eat session to gain an understanding of manufacturing processes from start to finish. CFE environmental health and safety department members then monitored the job-site setup and safety procedures for the roofing project’s duration.

The safety teams built two exterior scaffolding stair towers for access and egress, and an existing exterior fixed ladder was used as a secondary means for egress. Sign-in sheets were posted so crews knew who actively was working at all times, along with job-hazard analyses and operations for each shift.

Once on the roof, crew members were allowed to drink water only. To eliminate any possibility of foreign products entering the facility, other types of drinks, food products, tobacco, chewing gum and any type of over-the-counter or prescription medication and creams were not allowed.

With these strict requirements, team members examined rooftop first-aid kits and removed items such as ointments, swabs and aspirin and relocated the items to a job trailer on the ground. Metal-detectable bandages were used to detect lost bandages and placed in the first-aid kits at the rooftop hydration stations provided for the teams.

At ground level, team members established a cooling area with tents for breaks. The tents and trash receptacles were secured to prevent movement, and the entire staging and loading areas were flagged off with posted signage to limit the area to only construction personnel.

Team members set up a warning-line system along with guardrails around the roof’s perimeter. Workers built walkways, ramps and crossover stairs to protect the existing rooftop from further damage. To create the walkways, workers fastened 1-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation, 22-gauge steel decking and 3/4-inch-thick plywood together and laid it in place over the existing EPDM membrane.

Roofing work

The 24-hour plant was shut down at scheduled times to allow the CFE team to work on critical areas. The shutdown periods varied from seven to 10 days. Once a plant shutdown was scheduled, workers were organized in teams to work in shifts throughout the day and night. Each incoming shift overlapped the previous shift for one hour to ensure communication was properly exchanged between team members.

Each team began a shift by holding a toolbox talk; developing a job-hazard analysis for the work to be done during the shift; and inspecting every piece of equipment, scaffolding, fall protection, electrical cords and tools. Everything was documented throughout the project. Every shift also included a designated board-certified safety professional, project managers, operations managers, third-party construction consultants and a third-party on-site engineer.

The first shift was the night shift where workers illuminated the entire project area from the ground up. The Florence area is known for erratic weather, so team members checked the weather forecast and wind speed every 20 minutes and documented findings. Workers then mopped clean the area where roofing materials would be removed.

“This step was definitely out of the ordinary for a roofing company,” says James Russo, project manager for CFE. “We took the time to mop the area using an alcohol-based cleaner. This process helped eliminate any bacteria from possibly entering the facility.”

After the area was sanitized, workers marked an area and cut the existing EPDM membrane. Workers then carefully rolled up the membrane and carried it to the unloading area.

Next, workers removed the remaining expanded polystyrene and fiberboard. Following closely behind the tear-off crew were two CFE associates who used HEPA shop vacuums to collect any remaining dust and small debris. Areas with bad decking were identified and marked for replacement. After ensuring the area was as clean as possible, the night-shift team then loaded materials and prepared the roof for the second-shift team.

With additional warning lines around the area for roof deck replacement, the second-shift team then removed each existing metal roof deck panel by hand. Workers used six STINGER® Mobile Fall Protection Carts, placing three on each side of the area to be removed. Workers used full-body harnesses and self-retracting lifelines in conjunction with the fall-protection carts. This allowed team members to work together without having to cross over an opening in the deck.

As second-shift team members removed a section of the roof deck, they used HEPA shop vacuums with long arm attachments to clean the interior protection below the roof. This step was critical to eliminate any possibility of small particles and debris from entering the facility when the interior protection was removed at the end of the project.

Before installing the new Vulcraft 20-gauge galvanized steel pan-lined decking, CFE associates treated it with BioMist.® After the freshly sanitized replacement deck was installed and secure, workers removed the warning lines and cleaned, organized and set up the roof area for the third-shift team.

At the start of the third-shift crew, team members repeated the safety procedures as previous teams and then installed DensDeck® Roof Boards with Firestone water-based primer, a layer of self-adhering Firestone V-Force™ Vapor Barrier Membrane and a temporary EPDM membrane to ensure weathertightness.

“The temporary membrane was vital to allow for a faster installation, which allowed the facility to get back to production,” Russo says. After the critical roof areas were complete, the teams returned to working one shift. Workers then removed the temporary EPDM membrane and adhered polyisocyanurate insulation, another layer of DensDeck Roof Boards and the final 60-mil-thick RubberGard™ EPDM membrane.

Ready to serve

After two years and more than 29,000 man-hours, in September 2019, CFE team members completed work on the Kellogg’s Florence facility without a single incident or accident. The CFE team undertook a difficult project and exemplified exceptional teamwork and organizational and safety skills to provide a well-thought-out safety, quality and customer satisfaction plan.

“The team at Kellogg’s was truly impressed by the concern and concentration CFE workers displayed to give them an outstanding final product to protect their livelihood of manufacturing the ready-to-eat products we all enjoy,” says Daniel Nowak, corporate risk manager for Evans Roofing.

For demonstrating outstanding safety protocols, CFE was awarded a 2020 Gold Circle Award by the Roofing Alliance in the Safety Preparedness and Performance category. “This project truly exemplified what it means to have a strong safety culture,” Nowak says. “From expert project management, extraordinary associates and full-time environmental health and safety personnel on-site, this was a safe, well-structured and organized project from start to finish.”

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing’s associate editor and an NRCA director of communications.

Project name: Kellogg’s® production facility
Project location: Florence, Ky.
Project duration: June 2017—September 2019
Roof system type: EPDM membrane
Roofing contractor: CFE Inc., Apex, N.C., a subsidiary of Evans Roofing Co., Elmira, N.Y.
Roofing manufacturers: Firestone Building Products Co. LLC, Nashville, Tenn.; Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, Atlanta; Vulcraft, Ancaster, Ontario



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