The NZRMCA takes the issue of health and safety extremely seriously. Following on from the recent driver training DVD and truck driver hand signals initiatives, the Association has issued two brief safety alerts covering cement silo maintenance and blow back from line pumps.

As a follow-up to Laurie Porter’s, of Holcim (New Zealand) Limited, series of presentations around the regions, the NZRMCA have developed this safety alert to address the use of pneumatic pressure systems in the delivery and storage of cementitious product to sites.

The main areas of concern identified are:

  • All gravity silos must have a working alarm system, and its operation must be checked weekly. For non-self-test systems the Bin-Dicator must be checked monthly.
  • All gravity silos must have an over pressure valve that is maintained monthly.
  • All gravity silo filters must be working and have a minimum surface area of 24m2. The filter’s operation must be checked weekly and inspected and serviced three monthly.
  • Six monthly inspections of plant and equipment.
  • Ensure maintenance and alarm activation records.
  • Annual certification of pressure silos and air receivers (by third party inspectors).
  • Two yearly site audits by cement supply company.
  • Full training for anyone operating any equipment including pressure vessels.
  • Do not tamper with any safety device, including high level alarm systems, pressure vessel safety valves and silo over pressure valves.

A preventative maintenance program and fault report template are also included with the Safety Alert.

Download the NZRMCA Cement Silo Saftey Alert.

Covering a similar subject to this NZRMCA Safety Alert is a safety training video on the dangers of working with pressure vessels called Don't Tease the Tiger.  This video, available online in three parts, suggests that "even small pressures over large areas result in tremendous stored forces that, if released by hammering tanks, fooling with hatches or increasing pressures beyond design maximums, the explosive forces involved can easily kill."

Taken from the April 2013 NZRMCA Newsletter