Dolphin Bay completed health and safety audits for three clients in Kenya last month, as part of a service we offer all customers to help safeguard their staff and the environment.
Dolphin Bay Sales Executive for East Africa Wayne Driemeyer conducted the audits at the timber treatment plants of Panocal, Lakewood, and Silverwood.
“It is very important to us, as a chemicals manufacturer, that we help safeguard the personnel who work with our CCA wood preservative,” said Wayne. “Working with any chemical, it’s important to be aware of safety.
“When working at a plant all day, you tend not to see what an outsider would see. The idea is to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at things and making recommendations.”
The audit and scoring process takes about a day and the findings are confidential between Dolphin Bay and the customer, conducted purely for the customer’s benefit. Dolphin Bay uses a check sheet with 10 different sections, scoring the plant out of 1 000 points.
We offer the audits free to all our clients and are the most active in offering such a service in Africa.
The checklist is based on the best national standards and industry good practice.
Implementing any recommendations makes the auditing and certification of timber treatment plants by the relevant authorities much easier, and it holds these plants to a much higher standard.
“The idea is to be proactive in raising standards in the industry, and to provide a helping hand.”
Issues checked include whether there is signage at the plant entrance stating that entrance is restricted to authorised personnel, and whether those handling chemicals wear the correct PPE gear, including special overalls, gloves, boots, and respirators.
Plants need to be in concrete bunded areas which would contain chemicals should there be a spill, so that no environmental pollution can take place. The bunded areas should be of a sufficient size to handle the total volume of CCA chemical that could spill in the unlikely event of a major leak.
The general condition of a plant is also assessed, including whether the treatment vessel needs to be maintained and if pipes and valves should be serviced.
It is important for staff at plants to always be aware of their surroundings, which is difficult while working there day in and day out, said Wayne.
“For example, when staff pull the trolleys out of the plants, they invariably use mechanical winches or bell loggers. Logs come out at fair speed and if one comes off the trolley and lands on a foot, it’s a problem, so the wood needs to be stacked securely.”
Dolphin Bay also checks that treatment plants are clean as this improves safety, and whether staff have received up-to-date training.
After the initial audit, follow-up checks can be undertaken during our subsequent visits to plants, to see what improvements have been made. “This provides ongoing encouragement to keep up with the process,” said Wayne.
“Some plants may not achieve great ratings, but to me that’s what it’s all about. We say ‘Guys, this is where you are and here is what you need to do, so let’s work together to make the improvements.
“It’s all about Dolphin Bay providing a helping hand.”
“We want to supply customers who are in search of continuous improvement,” said Bertus. “Through this process we will elevate the timber treatment industry to higher levels, modernising it and preparing it for the future.”