Darren Boiling from Pyroban gives a few tips about restarting operations that handle flammable material with lift trucks.

Reports indicate that in the chemical and petrochemical industries, a large proportion of process safety incidents occur during start-ups or shutdowns. That’s because manufacturing operations restarting after idle periods are more susceptibility to fire, explosion, or machinery breakdown.

For these manufacturing operations, there will likely be thorough pre-start up plans and checks to minimise the risks, particularly of fire and explosion. However, a simple warehouse storing chemicals or paint in sealed containers should also have a pre-start plan and safety check.

Assuming those plans are in place, the following detail should be considered for the ATEX lift trucks and other ATEX compliant mobile equipment:

  1. Has the operation changed? Is the equipment fit for purpose? For example, are the trucks used in Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22 areas ATEX compliant with the correct specification, and still safe?
  2. Are the ATEX trucks due their thorough examination and safety audit (Ex-ASA)?
  3. Has the operator done a proper inspection of the equipment to make sure it is fit for duty?
  4. Are there cleaning or sanitising processes needed?
  5. Do the trucks need a service?
  6. In the case of a Zone 2 warehouse, there could be spillages and accumulation of gas/vapour if the building has not been ventilated properly. Pyroban’s system6000 features gas detection which will detect, alert the operator and shutdown the equipment safely if necessary. However, if you are working with a passive system in Zone 2 (with no gas detection), then you may want to consider adding a gas detection system as well. Pyroban’s Gascheka Zone 3 can be fitted to passive equipment onsite in just a few hours to give awareness to the operator, so they aren’t blind to a potential hazard (drum leakage for example).
  7. Have your operators got the correct levels of training for the equipment they are using. Do they need refresher training?
  8. Cranes, access platforms and scrubber driers used in Zone 2 areas temporarily to get the operation up and running, should have the correct levels of protection. ATEX compliant solutions are available from many rental companies on a short-term basis and Pyroban can often provide fast conversions for stock equipment, particularly for Zone 2.
  9. Short-term hire equipment used in areas where explosive atmospheres may occur, but not in such quantities that would require full ATEX compliant Zone 2 (or Zone 1) solutions should have some form of protection. Gascheka Zone 3 is a gas detection system that can be fitted quickly and easily removed again in these cases.

If you would like to talk to Pyroban about your lift trucks and mobile equipment when restarting your operations, speak to a member of the team on +44 (0) 1273 456825. Alternatively, email sales@pyroban.com.