The pumping and cleaning of septic tanks is a highly specific job, as any vacuum truck operator will agree. Not just is it challenging, it is dangerous as a result of potential exposure to highly toxic materials and gases. The appropriate handling of hazardous materials is important, as it could bring about serious illness or even death if not done properly. Because of this, every septic service should ensure that operators are well-trained within the safety procedures associated with not only running the equipment however in handling toxic materials in order to safeguard themselves, others and the environment.
There are 2 handling occasions when vacuum truck operators should be the most observant: when performing the specific job and once emptying and cleansing the equipment. Both can have equally devastating results if not properly executed, putting an owning company at risk for fines as well as other penalties from OSHA. Even probably the most careful operators can provide an accident, so it is essential that all employees be well-trained and understand and follow all company safety procedures.
Job Site Protection
Following are some things important areas to contemplate when working at a job site.
Opening – Septic containers must be opened with careful attention as solid waste can decompose, releasing toxic gases that fill the tank. Hydrogen sulfide and methane gases might lead to a large explosion as well as be extremely toxic and suffocate or kill someone with only a few deep breaths. Bacteria can also be found in decomposing material that could be harmful with direct contact. So it is essential to wear safety gear including respirators, gloves and protective clothing.
Flammability – Obviously, the hazardous gases would explode in case a spark or flame were encountered, so smoking or any kind of flame is strictly prohibited due to these gases.
Suctioning – When suctioning coming from a septic tank, operators should be very observant while there is a lot more associated with this procedure than simply awaiting a container to fill. Because the material is transferred from the tank into the truck container, gases along with pressure and temperature can build up. Any matter left inside the container from the previous job might lead to a chemical reaction. Workers must keep a close watch on temperature and pressure gauges to watch for just about any problems.
Waste Disposal Protection
When a septic tank has become safely and effectively suctioned, the disposal of toxic waste is the next main safety concern.
Dump Sites – Operators must know where approved dump sites are located and be able to document the sort of material being carried to prevent any toxic reactions, spills or other accidents. Any rules set forth from the dump site or any governmental agencies has to be strictly followed.
Maintenance – Vehicle maintenance should be performed regularly to stop potential equipment failure during the dumping procedure.
Cleaning – Once the truck tank has been emptied, it ought to be thoroughly ojlart as leaving a clean truck for the following operation is a very critical safety precaution. As earlier mentioned, any material remaining in a truck’s reservoir that may mix with new material coming from a future job could possibly result in a chemical reaction which will a minimum of cause delays while the issue is handled and even worse, could cause the tank to explode.
Ultimately, work safety is dependent upon employee training and subsequent diligence in following precautionary measures; this needs to be required by every company. Accidents involving septic pumping may seem to be only an unpleasant nuisance; realistically, it could be much more serious than that. Proper safety methods are essential in providing safe, thorough septic services and in reducing any involved risks!