Top 3 Tank Truck Safety Hazards: Do You Know The Risks?

Top 3 Tank Truck Safety Hazards: Do You Know The Risks?

There’s no getting around it: Your throughput depends on the loading, unloading and cleaning of tank trucks.

Without proper safety solutions and equipment, these tasks are incredibly dangerous for your employees and drivers. Even the most seasoned workers could experience serious injuries or even death depending on the tasks they have to accomplish, the training they’ve been through and the protection they’re provided.

Do you know the risks your drivers and workers face when accessing the tops and insides of tank trucks? Learn the top three hazards they may encounter and how to protect them with the right mix of equipment and training.

Tank Truck Safety Hazard #1: Falling Off The Top Of The Tank

In most cases, accessing the tank for loading and unloading means your employee has to climb on top of the tank to open a hatch or compressed air valve.

Without the proper prevention or protection, simply standing on the top of the truck puts your workers at risk for serious injuries from a fall. In 2009, a worker standing on top of a tank to unload sodium hydroxide fell from the top of the truck and fractured his femur, leading to hospitalization.

It’s almost certain that this workplace injury resulted in a workers’ compensation claim, medical costs and downtime for the worker’s employer. It also attracted the attention of OSHA.

This fall and the resulting injury may have been prevented if the facility had an expertly built and installed safety cage or enclosure solution designed to provide safer and easier access to the compressed air valve. Even if the worker had lost his balance, the fall protection provided by the cage would have stopped him from falling.

Tank Truck Safety Hazard #2: Falling While Climbing A Side Ladder

In 2011, a tank truck driver was making a routine delivery of cleaning agents to a retail store. After accessing the top of the tank to ensure the security of the seals, he began climbing back down the side ladder. Seconds later, he fell from the ladder, hit his head and eventually died from the injury.

While OSHA was never able to establish whether the driver slipped on the ladder or simply lost his balance, it’s clear that, even with the protection of the ladder, climbing on or off of a tank truck can be hazardous for drivers. This accident may have been prevented if the driver had undergone more rigorous safety training and the retail facility had invested in a fall prevention solution such as a Portable Tank Truck Access System.

Tank Truck Safety Hazard #3: Asphyxiation While Cleaning Tanks

If you’re transporting materials, there’s a good chance those chemicals have some level of toxicity. This makes the cleaning of your tanks a dangerous task. When it comes time to clean your tank trucks, make sure your workers have been rigorously trained and are aware of the chemicals they’re working with.

You should also have an emergency alert system that warns workers of imminent threats, and consider investing in a system that offers confined-space emergency entry retrieval for rescue situations. Make sure you work with a safety solutions partner able to provide confined-space entry and retrieval equipment that complies with OSHA 1910.146.

Other Tank Truck Safety Hazards To Watch Out For

When it comes to loading, unloading and cleaning tank trucks, the hazards outlined above are by no means the only risks your workers face. Other potential dangers include:

  • Tripping on loading hoses or other equipment on top of the tank
  • Having to leave the safety of a cage when it’s not properly configured to the tank truck
  • Drowning after falling into the contents of the tank
  • Explosions within the contents of the tank

Reduce Risk By Remaining Vigilant And Working With Experts

Worker injuries and death aren’t just tragic – they also devastate worker morale and your bottom line.

Mitigate your facility’s risk of serious injuries from tank truck safety hazards by ensuring workers are properly educated about these potential hazards. Work with a safety solutions company that helps you identify all potential hazards and provides you with equipment designed for your particular needs.

Ready to learn more about comprehensive truck safety solutions? Download this industry guide from Carbis Australia to discover strategies for a safer, more efficient workplace.

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3 Signs You Need More Than Safety Equipment

3 Signs You Need More Than Safety Equipment – You Need Services

Discover three signs you need services as well as safety equipment.

Carbis Australia Safety procedure

Safety equipment alone probably isn’t enough to protect your workers, your infrastructure and your company’s productivity. You also need to make sure that your equipment and services are a good match for your needs and integrated with your larger business.

Here are three signs you need a more comprehensive solution than your current safety equipment:

  1. Your Safety Equipment No Longer Reflects The Work Environment
    On many work sites, the loading equipment and safety equipment have been purchased from different suppliers. For example, let’s say you plan to purchase a loading arm built by one company, and already have a loading rack with fall prevention purchased from another supplier.When you’re focused on choosing the best equipment, you might consider factors specific to the loading arm, such as the swivel joints, seal material and break-away devices, as well as the technology behind systems for vapor recovery and overfill prevention.

    Unfortunately, this focus on equipment makes it easy to miss the larger picture: Will the loading arm work with your existing truck or rail car loading racks? What happens if you upgrade your loading racks in the future?

    Integrating the loading arm into a loading rack facility is often quite complex, and as you purchase individual pieces of safety equipment over time, your work site gradually changes. Eventually, your safety equipment may no longer meet your company’s needs. To avoid these complications, look beyond equipment alone to manufacturers that provide integrated safety solutions.

  2. Your Site Or Company Has Expanded
    Your company’s current safety equipment may work well and comply with OSHA standards, but what happens if your work site doubles in size, or your company grows rapidly through mergers and acquisitions? You need some way to align a diverse collection of safety equipment and procedures.In the industrial manufacturing industry, mergers and acquisitions were up in the second quarter of 2015, compared to the previous quarter and this time last year, according to a recent report by PwC. Nearly two-thirds of those deals were in emerging markets, which is well above the typical percentage. When your company makes a deal to expand overseas, regulatory differences may create new challenges for maintaining employee safety and compliance.
  3. You’ve Had Recent Accidents Or Close Calls
    An accident is usually a sign that your current safety equipment isn’t providing enough protection. Accidents tend to spark a flurry of activity, as the company attempts to head off a PR nightmare. Repeat violations or close calls are equally serious, and give you the chance to make improvements before a tragic accident occurs. In either case, it’s important to consider a more comprehensive approach, bringing equipment and services together for a complete safety solution.

The first step in choosing the proper solution is to find a consultant who takes the time to learn your business. Ask a potential vendor or consultant how far they will go to understand your situation and process, along with your goals as a business.

A great vendor invests the necessary time to dig into your operations, workflows and parameters, and then uses those insights to design a customized solution that goes far beyond safety equipment alone.

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How Effective Is Your Tank Truck Safety Solution?

A recent article in Bulk Transporter focused on the risks drivers face when working on top of tank trucks, highlighting the need for fall protection and prevention.

The article, which reported on the September meeting of the Cargo Tank Risk Management Committee (CTRMC), included insights on tank truck safety from the perspective of drivers themselves:


“Drivers would like to not have to go on top of tanks, but there are many reasons they have to for product quality and securement reasons,” according to the article. “Additional training on safe access to tank tops and better ladders is needed, especially when the need to carry equipment makes ‘three-point climbing’ difficult.”

While OSHA and ANSI recommend maintaining three points of contact (such as two hands and a foot) while climbing up the side of a truck or ladder, that’s clearly not enough to prevent falls and accidents on your tank truck loading site.

Where Does Your Tank Truck Safety Solution Fit In The Fall Protection Hierarchy?

When creating your tank truck safety solution, it’s good to start with the Fall Protection Hierarchy, an industry standard designed to protect workers from safety hazards. The hierarchy (sometimes referred to as Z359) starts with the preferred scenario and works down to the least effective solution.

1. Elimination Or Substitution
Remove the hazard or replace it with a safer option. In the context of tank truck safety, the first preference would be to eliminate the need for people to walk on the tank – especially when loading hazardous chemicals.

Some facilities tackle this problem by installing elevating truck platforms that provide safer walking surfaces, so drivers and operators don’t need to walk on top of the truck at all. The best way to eliminate walking on top of a truck depends on your specific situation and needs.

2. Passive Fall Prevention
If your drivers and operators still need to access the top of a tank truck, the next step is to find a safer way to do it. The preferred solution in this case is to use passive fall prevention, such as handrails and extended truck safety cages.

3. Fall Restraint
This type of fall prevention uses a harness or tether that restrains the worker from reaching the fall hazard while doing his or her job.

4. Fall Arrest
This type of solution aims to intervene when a person is already falling, in order to bring them to a safer stop. This isn’t the preferred solution, since the tank truck driver or operator would still fall, but it may be the only alternative in some situations.

5. Administrative Controls
Finally, you could use administrative controls to manage hazardous situations by reducing the frequency, duration and severity of a worker’s exposure. Safety policies, schedules, supervision and training are examples of these control measures.

Clearly, there’s a huge difference between eliminating the risk altogether and relying on safety policies and training alone. To keep workers safe when they work with tank trucks, you need a comprehensive truck safety solution designed to meet your work site’s specific needs, using a combination of safety procedures, equipment and services.

Are Portable Platforms Safe For Your Work Site Demands?

Are Portable Platforms Safe For Your Work Site Demands?

Providing a safe work site is critical for protecting your workforce against accidents that may cause serious injuries. In particular, fall prevention measures such as safe access platforms are viable safety solutions that reduce the risk of preventable accidents.

However, you may not always have the time or space available to install a traditional access platform. If you need a more flexible safety solution, portable platforms are often able to meet the specifications of your work site.

Portable work platforms are suitable for truck and rail access when installing permanent platforms is simply not feasible. Learn more about how portable platforms help you meet your work site’s safe access needs.

Portable Truck loading platform

Carbis Australia loading and unloading platform

Portable Truck loading platform

How Portable Platforms Are Used

Some portable platforms are designed specifically for tank truck access.These lightweight and low-cost safety solutions are suitable for fall prevention during loading and unloading.

General truck and rail-access rolling platforms usually have wheels that make transporting your system simple and efficient. Many systems also accommodate motors, pumps and hoses, facilitating your workers on the job.

While rolling work platforms are convenient for companies that do not have enough space for a permanent solution, it is important to remember these systems are not designed for high usage.

For example, a company that only has to vent the hatch on a truck would benefit from using a portable system. Companies with heavy or high-volume loading schedules, as well as those that require handling loading arms or hoses while on top of the truck, should install a platform.

Fall Prevention And Minimising Risk

Miss-spotting is a risk when using portable platforms just as it’s a risk when using traditional access platforms. While traditional access platforms require you to move the vehicle in order to align with the platform, portable platforms must be moved to align with the vehicle. If you miss-spot the equipment, the risk of falling greatly increases.

It’s also important to keep platforms tidy and remove items from the stairs to avoid trips and falls. Large, unwieldy objects should not be carried up and down the stairs as this increases the possibility of the platform tipping over.

You may be able to customize your portable platform depending on the model and your specific needs. When choosing a safe access system, keep in mind that these portable systems are most often used for light loading and unloading, as temporary solutions or as back-up equipment in the event of an emergency.

If you have questions about safety procedures for portable platforms, the correct operational processes are detailed in the owner’s manual. It is also beneficial to speak with an experienced professional who is knowledgeable on the use of safety equipment.

Boosting efficiency with a Spacepac tow motor

Organisations across Australia are looking at ways to improve their productivity, while maintaining environmental standards and worker safety.

The Australian Productivity Commission claimed earlier this year that the country has performed poorly over the last decade, despite the economy doing well overall.

Peter Harris, chairman of the organisation, said a lack of productivity will begin to affect national income and the general wellbeing of Australians if not tackled effectively.

“Productivity growth requires that impediments to innovation, technological improvement and reorganisation of production are continuously reviewed and removed,” he stated.

“This is how, over the medium term, we best cope with structural changes such as rapid exchange rate movements, our ageing population and potential global economic shocks.”

Tackling inefficiencies with Spacepac products

One of the best ways to tackle inefficiencies at an organisation is to streamline laborious processes by introducing new technology.

Buying a Spacepac tow motors through Spacepac can help to achieve this, allowing for the simple movement of heavy loads, regardless of the environment.

DEC BULL-2 Battery Electric Tow Tug

With a load capacity of up to 20,000kg, depending on the model, the vehicle has a special design that is built with a powerful electric drive motor controlled by a microprocessor.

The Spacepac tow motor’s compact specifications mean it is ideal for use in confined spaces and assembly lines.

Its ergonomic stand-up design helps keep workers comfortable, with a top speed of eight kilometres per hour enabling staff to work quickly and efficiently.

Businesses can also boost their environmental credentials, as Spacepac tow motors are free from pollution, guaranteeing a more sustainable, happy workplace.

Offering user-friendly controls, flashing lights and indicators, enterprises can rest assured that their vehicle provides safety and ease of maintenance as well.

Spacepac Electric Vehicles

Minimise worker exertion with battery-powered movers

Employees at health organisations all around the world exert an incredible amount of energy on the job, whether it’s moving beds, trolleys or even patients themselves.

However, this exertion can put severe pressure on workers’ lower backs, which could lead to injuries or pain.

If your hospital currently relies on the manual lift and movement of heavy resources or patients, then consider a Spacepac battery-powered mover.

EVO Mover - Battery Powered Bed Mover

EVO Mover – Battery Powered Bed Mover

The EVO Mover can connect to beds and wheelchairs with a minimum of fuss, engaging effortless and quietly at the push of a button, which can be an important feature if you’re hoping to move a sleeping patient.

Able to navigate around tight corners with ease, this piece of safety equipment can slide in and out of lifts, as well as up and down ramps.

This makes them the ultimate tool in reducing risk of injuries or physical strain for employees that must regularly relocate patients or hospital equipment.

There is a variable speed control and a safety horn, both of which add to the EVO Mover’s reputation as an excellent OH&S investment for health organisations.

Other safety accessories on the device include an automatic security brake to prevent it rolling away, automatic overload protection and controlled stopping and starting.

A free-wheeling lever allows personnel to move the EVO Mover between jobs without driving it, which saves battery life and user fatigue.

The battery can last up to three days depending on usage before the last charge, while a flat battery can be brought back to full power within six hours.

With downhill assist capabilities and positive drive wheel traction, this is a piece of machinery that can make life easy for your hospital staff.

Not only will this keep you in line with health and safety obligations, it will ensure that your operation runs at maximum efficiency.

Spacepac Electric Vehicles

Keep your industrial workers safe with traffic control systems

With so many powered industrial vehicles whizzing around warehouses, distribution centers and ports, the threat of an accident involving a truck or forklift is always present.

However, with the right traffic control systems in place, businesses can significantly lower the chances of employee injury related to such accidents.

Spacepac Safety and Security Product Solution

Spacepac Safety and Security Product Solution

The most common powered industrial vehicle accidents occur when forklift drivers inadvertently travel too far and fall off the edge of loading platforms.

Other common accidents include backover injuries, those that occur when employees fail to secure rigs to loading platforms and when large vehicles tip over.

While employee safety will always be best with the right training, there are plenty of products you can use to make your workplace the safest environment possible.

For example, Tru-Gard Bollards are a great way to protect your facility, assets and workers from industrial vehicles. These items are most commonly used to protect pallet racking, door tracks and the corners of walls. If necessary, these poles can be fixed into concrete for heavy duty mounting.

There are also removable options that can be set in front of entrances and doors to protect employees.

However, such durable equipment isn’t always necessary. In certain cases, it may be better to use a Veriflex KnockDown sign or post mounting system. These require no internal cables that can fray or snap, and can be easily installed anywhere in a workplace.

These often include Stop or Give Way signs that if struck won’t be damaged, but rather will flop down and spring back up.

Other items you may want to consider to improve warehouse safety include pedestrian barriers,impact absorbing technologies, speed humps and machine guarding systems.

Interested in catering? Make sure you’ve got the right equipment

The catering business is packed with innovative appliances that can make any job profoundly easier, whether it’s through better and more efficient refrigeration, faster heat times or other related measurements.

For example, one of the best products on the market right now is the Chillogen – a portable tool that provides the best chilled storage environment alongside a fast regeneration oven.

Spacepac Single Tray Service Trolley System

With our innovative Chillogen technology, regenerated food looks and tastes like it’s fresh from the chef’s oven

Both are housed in a single compartment on wheels, making it easier than ever to take the professional chef’s kitchen on the road.

The Chillogen uses next-generation technology that can help cater food to plates, load the unit, switch on, store, regenerate and unload easier than ever. The entire cycle can be automated, give caterers more time to focus on the event at hand.

Overall, these banqueting trolleys can lead to faster service, easier planning and better food quality.

If you’d rather focus on cooking and serving piping hot food, there are several trolleys available that are designed to do just that. The Versigen VG trolley ensures food is always kept at the ideal temperature without burning it or drying it out.

When it comes time to serve the food, caterers can relax knowing that diners will receive hot, appealing and nutritious food quickly and efficiently.

This is an ideal choice for any hospital or similar operation that needs to distribute food throughout a large facility.

For trayed meals, one of the best options is the Gemini trolley, which eliminates the risks of employees burning themselves by handling hot food. Food can be plated in the kitchen, put on trays and loaded directly into the trolley.

Whether it’s for a traveling catering business or for corporate lunches, the right equipment can make all the difference.

Carbis can help with transloading dilemmas

One of the biggest problems resource companies face is how to efficiently transport their materials to rail lines and throughout the rest of the country.

The best answer for this is to have a strong transloading system in place, which can easily and quickly transfer loads between trucks and other hauling vehicles and rail cars.

Unfortunately, there is ample room for error in this strategy, and it requires serious planning and solutions for it to be cost effective.

This is where Carbis’ products and solutions can come in handy. Even when a company’s project is nowhere near a railway, Carbis can help ensure the cargo or materials makes it from the extraction point to the shipping port without a single spill.

Transloading Portable Access Platform - Buzzard

Transloading Portable Access Platform – Buzzard

In one example, Carbis helped a natural gas liquids company that needed a mobile transloading cart with a mounted skid that could load 250# and 400# rail cars. In addition to efficiency, the company wanted to maximise safety with all the proper safety equipment.

Finally, the solution required metering and ticketing systems since custody transfer was involved in the process.

Carbis added a compressor, a meter and a ticket printer to the transfer skid, which was then appropriately mounted on the frame of the trailer. Staying true to its focus on safety, the company also installed non-slip stairs to connect the platform.

To increase employee access, the system was given a platform gangway that – in the name of safety – featured a cage to ensure fall prevention while still letting workers do their jobs freely.

The end result was a transloading system that allowed the company to quickly and easily transfer its products from remote wellheads to transport trucks and then rail cars – all while minimising waste and increasing employee safety.

Keep National Safe Work Australia Month in mind

October may be on its way out, but there’s still time to ensure your business is doing its part to raise awareness of National Safe Work Australia Month and take part in any of the several activities going on around the country. Last years’ inaugural program was such a success, Safe Work Australia felt it would have to repeat the month-long awareness campaign, and so far it has gone swimmingly. The theme for 2013 has been “Safety is a frame of mind. Get the picture”, which was chosen to reflect the need for better safety to come from within organisations themselves. Last year’s event was a major hit, with a record 699 people registering as Safety Ambassadors. This year, the group hopes to encourage 800 people to sign up, which would likely have a huge impact on safety improvements in Australia’s workplaces.

Fall Prevention Equipment, Mobile Platform Ladders and Height Access Solutions

CARBIS Australia is The World Leader in Fall Prevention Equipment, Mobile Platform Ladders and Height Access Solutions.

When the program got off the ground, Safe Work Australia Chair Ann Sherry spoke on how it important it is for companies to strive to win the 2013 Safety Ambassador of Year Award. “Building on the success of last year’s Safe Work Australia Week this year’s celebrations have been extended to a month in October,” Ms Sherry said. “Every workplace in Australia should focus on improving health and safety during October to reduce the incidence of death, injury and disease. “I encourage everyone to get involved in promoting safety at work during safety month. A great way is to register as a Safety Ambassador in your workplace.” One of the best ways to ensure employee safety in an industrial setting is to invest in the right infrastructure that not only improves productivity and eliminates or reduces downtime, but keeps workers safe through fall prevention strategies.

CARBIS Australia is The World Leader in Fall Prevention Equipment, Mobile Platform Ladders and Height Access Solutions.