|Safer sampling at ground level
CEMEX UK have a fleet of over 120 bulk powder tankers utilised for the delivery of cement and other related powdered products. Loading is either through the rear loading point or hatches on the top of the tanker.
In 2004, following a number of serious incidents involving falls from vehicles, CEMEX made the decision to remove the access ladders from the tankers. The only permitted access to the top of the tankers would be via safety platforms on each site.
During 2009, CEMEX’s commercial team secured the business of a major new customer. The contract required the driver to take a sample of cement from the tanker on the site prior to discharge. Although the customer’s site had a gantry which would enable the driver to anchor himself via a safety harness once they were on top of the tanker, there was no means for the driver to actually access the top of the tanker.
Various options were considered to overcome the problem, including re-locating an access platform from one of CEMEX’s sites; to taking a sample from a tap on the silo as the driver was discharging; but this would mean taking a sample from a pressurised pipe – a potential high risk activity in itself. The general consensus of opinion, after consulting with drivers, engineers, tank suppliers, management and the customer, was that the driver should remain on the ground, thus eliminating the need to work at height.
The idea of a sampling point appeared to be the best solution and the logistics engineering team was tasked with coming up with a design for a modification to the tanker which meant that the driver could take a sample safely at ground level. The simple modification shown was made to two tankers and has been highly successful.
1.Eliminates the driver working at height
2.Avoids taking samples from the tanker whilst the vehicle is under pressure
3.Relationship building with the customer, providing a safe solution to suit all
4.The solution has demonstrated to drivers that cost does not come before safety.