The pumping and cleaning of septic tanks is a highly specialized job, as any vacuum truck operator will agree. Not just is it intense, it is actually dangerous due to the potential contact with highly toxic materials and gases. The correct handling of unsafe materials is vital, as it could bring about serious illness or even death if not done efficiently. Because of this, every septic service should make sure that operators are well-trained within the safety procedures involved in not only running the gear however in handling toxic materials in order to guard themselves, others as well as the environment.
There are two handling instances when vacuum truck operators should be the most observant: when performing the specific job and when emptying and cleaning the equipment. Both can have equally devastating results if not properly executed, putting an owning company in danger of fines and other penalties from OSHA. Even probably the most careful operators can have an accident, so it is necessary 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 in a job site.
Opening – Septic containers must be opened with extreme care as solid waste can decompose, releasing toxic gases that fill the tank. Hydrogen sulfide and methane gases could cause a big explosion as well as be extremely toxic and suffocate or kill a person with just a few deep breaths. Bacteria can also be present in decomposing material which may be harmful with direct contact. So it is essential to wear safety gear including respirators, gloves and protective clothing.
Flammability – Of course, the hazardous gases would explode if a spark or flame were encountered, so smoking or any kind of flame is strictly prohibited because of these gases.
Suctioning – When suctioning from a septic tank, operators must be very observant while there is much more involved in this procedure than simply waiting around for a container to fill. As the material is transferred through the tank in to the truck container, gases along with pressure and temperature can build up. Any matter left within the container coming from a previous job might cause a chemical reaction. Workers must keep a close watch on temperature and pressure gauges to watch for any problems.
Waste Disposal Protection
After a septic tank has been 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 situated and be able to document the type of material being carried in order to avoid any toxic reactions, spills or other accidents. Any rules set forth by the dump site or any governmental agencies has to be strictly followed.
Maintenance – Vehicle maintenance has to be performed frequently to prevent potential equipment failure through the dumping procedure.
Cleaning – When the truck tank has been emptied, it must be thoroughly ojlart as leaving a clean truck for the upcoming operation is an extremely critical safety precaution. As earlier mentioned, any material remaining inside a truck’s reservoir that could mix with new material from a future job could possibly cause a chemical reaction which may at the very least cause delays while the thing is handled and even worse, might cause the tank to explode.
Ultimately, work safety is dependent upon employee training and subsequent diligence in following precautionary measures; this ought to be essental to every company. Accidents involving septic pumping may seem to be only an unpleasant nuisance; realistically, it can be far more serious than that. Proper safety methods are essential in providing safe, thorough septic services and then in reducing any involved risks!