Pyroban drives safety at SRM

01 November 2007

SRM has met strict legislative requirements at its Morecambe chemical recycling plant with changes to materials handling equipment.

Safe unloading of drums using Pyroban protected equipment
Safe unloading of drums using Pyroban protected equipment

To achieve its objective, the chemical recovering and recycling company drafted in the services of fork truck supplier, Birchwood, and explosion protection safety specialist, Pyroban.

The continuously operating Morecambe site, which has the highest COMAH (Control of Major Accidents and Hazards) status, receives waste in drums, IBCs or bulk.

“Top tier COMAH status coupled with the strict health and safety legislation governing all our activities means that our materials handling supplier Birchwood has to support us with specialist services,” said Graham Burrell, materials manager at SRM.

“Following risk assessments under DSEAR, areas are classified as Zone 2 requiring ATEX compliant equipment and suitable support. Our trucks can be used up to 24 hours a day and we need them all available seven days a week to feed the process.”

Pete Dennett, sales manager for Birchwood, added: “SRM put us through our paces to make sure that we could provide the level of service they need. We even took them to another Birchwood customer’s site where we were able to demonstrate the attentive support we provide for the chemical industry.”

Curtain sided trailers are unloaded at SRM each containing drums or IBCs, most of which contain flammable materials. Two 2.5t forklifts are used to unload the trailers and position the drums and IBCs in a Zone 2 storage area. A further fleet of 2.5t trucks then feeds the Zone 2 process areas in batches.

“From the outset, on any site like this, we always involve explosion protection specialist Pyroban to provide succinct and impartial advice,” continued Dennett.

Pyroban converted a series of 2.5t diesel counterbalance trucks for safe operation within Zone 2 areas at SRM. Pyroban claims its conversion, System 5000D, maintains the performance of the original vehicle but eliminates all sources of ignition so that if there is a flammable vapour in the atmosphere, the trucks cannot cause an explosion.

Rob Vesty, customer services manager for Pyroban in the North of England, said SRM were already familiar with, and liked, System 5000D.

“The drivers like it because an automatic system check on start up means that they have continued confidence in the safety of the equipment,” he said.

“Pyroban assesses every single element of the truck,” Vesty continued.

“We then apply a series of explosion protection solutions which includes reducing the surface temperature of the engine and the exhaust gas temperature. We prevent a flame reaching the atmosphere through the inlet system or overspeed if the engine were to ingest a vapour.”

Burrell concluded: “The trucks are only part of the solution. The way a supplier supports them is probably the most important element. Local Birchwood engineers look after the trucks with a maximum callout of two hours, there are planned maintenance schedules and engineers who are certified and experienced on the Pyroban system. This combination from Birchwood is very impressive for a very demanding fleet.”

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