Safe Truck Loading Operations In Emerging Markets

Every tank terminal must guarantee safe truck loading operations.  Working at height remains one of the prevalent causes of fatalities and major injuries, with common cases including falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.

Traders or cargo owners involved in road transportation of bulk liquid chemicals must develop and follow best-practice standards and work with specialist contractors, industry bodies, governments and non-governmental organisations.

Road safety mainly focuses on driver skills and behaviour, as well as the condition of the vehicle, road and local environment.  Global and local road safety standards and routine audits of the road safety capabilities of used contractors are recommended.

In emerging markets, we regularly see major chemical cargo owners and traders avoiding truck deliveries due to the difficulty to manage associated risks and the potential consequences of transport accidents.

Therefore, tank terminal storage capacity is often rented in emerging markets to sell products to local customers on ex-tank terms. Under these terms, the title and risk are transferred from the seller to the buyer when the product passes the outlet flange of the seller’s storage tank from which the product is being delivered unless otherwise agreed.

We often see tank terminals in emerging markets with good jetty and storage infrastructure but with poor truck loading facilities. Local road transport regulations are often less effective in emerging markets. On the other hand, jetty and tank storage management are linked more closely to strict and clear local and international maritime regulations.

So, who will be responsible and taken accountable in case of an incident during truck loading operations at a tank terminal?

Any tank terminal has the primary corporate aim and obligation of providing a safe and clean working environment for site employees, contractors and customers. That means using the best technology and working practices, which is non-negotiable.

In case of an incident at the truck loading bay, most likely a finger will be pointed at both the terminal and the company renting the storage tanks, even when the latter is selling ex-tank and especially when they are a large company with a solid brand name.

You may also like our article “Emergency response for the bulk logistics and transport sector‘.

Working on top of road tankers

If working on top of road tankers or tank containers is deemed necessary, the risks to consider will include falls from a height, access and egress, contact with product and exposure to fumes.

To prevent falls from tankers, the following hierarchy of control measures needs to be considered:

  • eliminate the need to access tops of tankers
  • provision of a loading/unloading gantry
  • tanker design features such as ladders, walkways and collapsible handrails
  • use of portable ladders with platforms
  • installation of fall arrest systems.

This hierarchy tells the operator how to prioritise controls. What it says is that, if tank top access is unavoidable and no other fall prevention method is possible, then a fall arrest system must be put in place.

Carbis Loadtec solutions for truck loading operations

Loadtec Engineered Systems was set up almost 20 years ago primarily to sell loading arms but, increasingly, the company is supplying total solutions that make a difference to the whole working environment. On 1st September 2019, Loadtec Engineered Systems migrated its personnel and systems to a new company called Carbis Loadtec Group Limited.

With well-established manufacturing facilities for loading arms and access equipment in Europe and the US, Carbis Loadtec has delivered safe and efficient solutions to bulk liquid transfer and access systems globally.

Below are various solutions Carbis Loadtec can offer for those working on the top of tanks and they range from the safest to the least safe solution and with costs to match:

  • Multi-Modal Access System – The safest and most expensive of the fall prevention systems Loadtec offers, this system is designed to provide operators with flexible and safe access on to tankers of varying heights and lengths. The unique feature is that each end of the elevating platform can be tilted to match the slope of a tanker top.
  • Tanker Enclosure System – This allows the operator to have free access to the entire tanker top. This can mean walking along the top of a round barrel or ISO container with varying designs of walkway and manhole positions without reliance on the tanker walkways.
  • Large Cage Tanker Solution – Wide safety cages provide complete fall prevention where multiple hatches need to be accessed, this simple design can be easily configured to fit onto your existing structures or supplied with any platform and stair configuration.
  • Mobile Access Carts – This cart can be moved around a loading bay easily by one person or longer distances with a tractor and suitable for areas with limited space.

Let us know if you have an inquiry or find more information about Carbis Loadtec on their website.

Photo Credit: Carbis Loadtec