When operating a treatment plant, many complications could occur because of incompetence. Therefore, we work with Hazardous Chemicals and equipment daily. Furthermore, it is so important to take safety measures at all times.
At Sabie Poles, we take the safety of our staff seriously. We do our best to maintain a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of the employees. Our employees understand that they are also responsible for their own health and safety and need to adhere to all regulatory measures set out to them in their employment contracts and stipulated by NOHASA.
Safety measure at the Sabie Poles Treatment Plant
We train our staff and make sure they have the necessary skills and knowledge about the plant. We inform them about how to handle the equipment, the dangers of the equipment and chemicals, and what to do in the event of exposure to the chemicals. Let us discuss in more detail how we adhere to safety measures at our treatment plant:
Tools and Equipment
Handling equipment incorrectly, could lead to many unwanted problems. Therefore, we ensure that our employees, who handle the equipment, are always prepared and informed. Furthermore, our staff should wear their PPE clothing at all times. For instance, equipment such as glass burettes (used for retention testing), moisture meters and increment borers are handled with safety gloves and care. Further more, all equipment is stacked away safely in the operators’ office, (which is in a strictly no entry zone) behind closed doors.
Exposure to raw CCA chemicals can be dangerous if swallowed.
- We train all employees to handle the chemicals correctly.
- Protective clothing is worn at all times when handling the chemicals.
- We ensure that employees follow the correct safety and handling procedures at all times.
- We ensure that safety measures are put in place should any employee show any
side effects due to exposure to the chemicals.
- Chemicals are delivered by sealed tankers. It is then transferred and stored in a
bulk tank that is permanently locked up.
- When chemicals arrive with a reputable and registered transport company, we take
extreme precautionary measures. For instance, the vehicles stop at a designated area where safety measures are put into place to avoid contamination of the premises.
- We keep a Strict record of the chemicals we receive and mix using a stock book.
By taking stock regularly, we know immediately if chemicals are missing.
- Every afternoon at closing time we turn off all power to the treatment plant, by
doing this, we are sure that no chemicals can be pumped during the night thus,
preventing chemical theft.
Safety Treatment methods for direct exposure to CCA Chemicals:
– Move to fresh air
– Apply artificial respiration
– Use oxygen therapy
– Seek medical attention.
– Rinse mouth with water. Drink as much water or sweetened water as possible.
– Seek immediate medical attention.
– Remove contaminated clothing.
– Wash affected areas of the skin using soap and cold water.
Small cuts and abrasions
– Wash well with water and dry.
– Apply antiseptic cream with a clean dressing.
– Immediately wash with clean, cold water for at least 15 minutes.
– Continue to wash with body temperature water for another 10 minutes.
– Seek medical attention.
Most importantly, it is of top priority that non-fixed chemicals are either in the treatment system or fixated in the poles. It should not be anywhere else.
We planned the design and installation of the treatment plant thoroughly to ensure that the chemicals NEVER leak into the ground or spill at all. Furthermore:
- We built a pit/bounded area under the tanks and cylinders to prevent possible leakage of any chemicals. The area can accommodate the volume of the solution used plus 10%.
- Our vessels comply with the requirements stated under the “Vessels under Pressure Regulations, 1996.” We inspect the treatment vessels for deterioration regularly. If we detect any signs of deterioration, we do repairs immediately.
- We fit all vessels with pressure relief valves to prevent pressure exceeding its limits.
- Safety signs are put in place to indicate restricted and high-risk areas.
- All the sampling taps are locked up and the handles that connect to the bulk tank are removed and kept in a safe place at night.
Safety measures at the Sabie Poles working site
A lot is happening on-site. For instance, logs are being moved around, timber is being cut, and much more. We are vigilant when moving around onsite. Employees need to adhere and acknowlegde the Occupational Health and Safety act of 1993 which includes the following:
- All personnel who work with machinery should wear the required safety equipment issued by the employer.
- No Personnel who work near moving machinery are may wear any loosely fitting outer clothing, any jewellery or clothing, any watch or key chain, or anything else that may get caught in the machines.
- We do not allow cell phones while the machinery is in operation.
- We do not allow staff members who are under the influence of any drug or alcohol to handle the machinery. No alcohol or drugs are allowed on the premises.
- Only authorized personnel are allowed to enter the safeguarded area of machinery to switch machines off/on or do repairs.
- Responsible personnel inspects and maintain All machinery regularly.
- We only allow employees who are fully certified to drive operate the movable
- At our site, we make use of security features such as electric fencing, alarms, 24-hour
camera surveillance, and a night security guard.
We provide protective work wear to our employees to ensure they use the correct PPE clothing. The following equipment is necessary:
- Hand & Eye protection
o Employees should wear Hard hats with a face visor or goggles when open drums containing the chemicals.
o Chainsaw operators should wear a safety overall, hard hat with a screen and safety gloves.
- Nose and mouth protection
o Employees should wear disposable facemasks or respirator filter pads when the doors of the vessel are open. This is to prevent inhalation of the fumes.
- Hand, arm, and face protection
o Personnel who work directly with the chemicals should wear strong PVC-coated gloves.
- Body protection
o When personnel carry out duties within the treatment area, they should wear PVC aprons and acid-resistant overalls without pockets.
- Foot protection
o Personnel should to wear PVC gumboots with safety toecaps or safety boots only.
Our safety measures follow all procedures according to the SABS standards under the SANS 10255 Health and Safety Specification.