Storage Terminals Promote Worker Safety
Aug 23, 2001 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Promoting hazardous materials handling safety in storage and terminaling operations is an on-going process that takes a full management commitment. Storage facility and terminal managers discussed safety challenges and strategies during the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Inter-Industry Workshop August 22 and 23 in New Orleans LA.
Rick Gros, Petroleum Service Corp, said he see a lot of instances where loading procedures have not been formalized or are not followed at terminals. At truck loading racks especially, workers often are rushed to meet very tight schedules. Often multiple people share responsibility for the loading process, and this breeds confusion. What is needed are efficient loading routines, more emphasis on safety, and increased management oversight of loading operations.
Mark Lawrence, Kirby Logistics Management, pointed out that his company implemented a program of workplace observation reports. The most common violations observed by managers are failures to follow operational procedures. The next highest violation is failure to wear personal protective equipment.
Use of personal protective equipment can create safety concerns of its own, especially along the Gulf Coast with its hot, humid summers. Heat-related injuries are a real concern when workers are wearing chemical protective suits. Companies are addressing that issue by providing cool-down shelters near the loading racks and making sure workers take adequate breaks.