This article was written by Rudi Stalmans and has been reproduced from ener8 published on 27 November 2017.
Every tank terminal must guarantee safe truck loading operations. Working at height remains one of the prevalent causes of fatalities and major injuries, with common cases including falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.
Traders or cargo owners involved in road transportation of bulk liquid chemicals must develop and follow best-practice standards and work with specialist contractors, industry bodies, governments and non-governmental organisations.
Road safety mainly focuses on driver skills and behaviour, as well as the condition of the vehicle, road and local environment. Global and local road safety standards and routine audits of the road safety capabilities of used contractors are recommended.
In emerging markets, we regularly see major chemical cargo owners and traders avoiding truck deliveries due to the difficulty to manage associated risks and the potential consequences of transport accidents.
Therefore, tank terminal storage capacity is often rented in emerging markets from where products are sold to local customers based on ex-tank terms. Under these terms the title and risk is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the product passes the outlet flange of the seller’s storage tank from which the product is being delivered, unless otherwise agreed.
We also often see tank terminals in emerging markets with good jetty and storage tank infrastructure, but with very poor truck loading bay facilities. The latter may be linked to less effective local road transport regulations in emerging markets, while jetty and tank storage management is more closely linked to strict and clear international and local maritime regulations.
So, who will be responsible and taken accountable in case of an incident during truck loading operations at a tank terminal?
Any tank terminal has the primary corporate aim and obligation of providing a safe and clean working environment for site employees, contractors and customers. That means using the best technology and working practices, which is non-negotiable.
In case of an incident at the truck loading bay, a finger will most likely be pointed at both the terminal and the company renting the storage tanks from where the product is being delivered, even when the latter is selling ex-tank and especially when they are a large company with a solid brand name
WORKING ON TOP OF ROAD TANKERS
Where working on top of road tankers or tank containers is deemed necessary, the risks to consider will include falls from a height, access and egress, contact with product and exposure to fumes.
To prevent falls from tankers, the following hierarchy of control measures needs to be considered:
- eliminate the need to access tops of tankers
- provision of a loading/unloading gantry
- tanker design features such as ladders, walkways and collapsible handrails
- use of portable ladders with platforms
- installation of fall arrest systems.
This hierarchy tells the operator how to prioritise controls. What it says is that, if tank top access is unavoidable and no other fall prevention method is possible, then a fall arrest system must be put in place.
Loadtec Engineered Systems was set up almost 20 years ago primarily to sell loading arms but, increasingly, the company is supplying total solutions that make a difference to the whole working environment.
With well established manufacturing facilities for loading arms and access equipment in Europe and the US, Loadtec has safely delivered safe and efficient solutions to bulk liquid transfer and access systems globally.
Below are various solutions Loadtec can offer for those working on the top of tanks and they range from the safest to the least safe solution and with costs to match:
- Multi-Modal Access System – The safest and most expensive of the fall prevention systems Loadtec offers, this system is designed to provide operators with flexible and safe access on to tankers of varying heights and lengths. The unique feature is that each end of the elevating platform can be tilted to match the slope of a tanker top.
- Tanker Enclosure System – This allows the operator to have free access to the entire tanker top. This can mean walking along the top of a round barrel or ISO container with varying designs of walkway and manhole positions without reliance on the tanker walkways.
- Large Cage Tanker Solution – Wide safety cages provide complete fall prevention where multiple hatches need to be accessed, this simple design can be easily configured to fit onto your existing structures or supplied with any platform and stair configuration.
- Mobile Access Carts – This cart can be moved around a loading bay easily by one person or longer distances with a tractor and suitable for areas with limited space.
Let us know if you have an inquiry or find more information about Loadtec Engineered Systems on their website.
How can ener8 help tank terminals? With a strong background and experience in bulk liquid chemical logistics and supply chain management, ener8 helps tank terminals to achieve their growth goals. Contact us in case you are a tank terminal operator or investor and require consultancy for a new project or study, marketing and sales strategy development, service development and enhancement, business development and sales, HSEQ and audit preparation or logistics advice and support.
A great level of safety will result in more business opportunities, so be sure not to forget your truck loading operations!
For more information about our services, click here.
Rudi has a strong background in Asia Pacific dating back to 1992 and has more than 20 years of experience in Bulk Liquid Chemical Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Business Development and Marketing. Rudi is the founder and Managing Director of ener8 limited.