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All the latest news for auto recyclers

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Are you aware of the dangers in your ATF?

fire
It's essential to know the dangers that can happen at an ATF site.
Many ATFs are unaware of the true dangers that come with vehicle waste fluid handling and the serious safety implications that this can have on businesses and their staff. With constantly rising incidents that often have severe consequences, it is of the utmost importance that safety regulations, knowledge and best practise are adhered to.


You only need to look at the graph we printed last month on the Environment Agency Clampdown article to understand that fire and explosion are by far the highest cause of incidents. Vehicle depollution specialist, AutoDrain firmly believes that safety and using the correct equipment is something that needs to be seriously addressed within the ATF industry.

Having constantly come across ATF sites, whose awareness to the potential risks in which they face on a daily basis is not fully understood. With a lack of risk assessments, the use of unsuitable equipment and inadequate procedures being used within many End of Life facilities when handling waste fluids. All fluids in vehicles present some form of risk, some of which can have devastating health and environmental implications. Fuels, with petrol in particular can cause the highest risk, many questions need to be raised when looking at how you deal with fuel removal at your ATF.

If you carry out fuel drain work of any description what methods do you have in place? Do you have a designated de-fuelling area? Does the equipment and procedure you use control the explosive vapour?

A recent incident in a large workshop highlighted the need for a closer look at what control systems you need in place. An apprentice working under instruction from his mentor was draining fuel from a vehicle tank, using their tried and trusted method of piercing the tank and catching the fuel in a gravity drainer was the wrong choice! The explosive vapour was ignited by static electricity resulting in explosion and fire which cost them their workshop.

Luckily the Apprentice avoided serious injury but we are sure in the future his options for fuel draining will be more considered. Using the correct training and control methods for this process would have substantially reduced the risk. For Many companies prevention of such incidents only occurs in the aftermath of such an incident, a serious accident or fire, something which needs to be considered before the event.

With only one litre of petrol producing over 15,000 litres of highly explosive petrol vapours, it is no wonder that relevant precautions need to be addressed as it only takes one static spark to have devastating effects within a workshop. Appropriate standards for equipment, legislation, training, maintenance and housekeeping all need to be taken into consideration when flammable waste liquids are being recovered from vehicles.

Making sure that your ATF is running a safe and legal depollution process is a priority, especially as it has recently been announced that the Environment Agency are due to conduct a depollution campaign and audit. The focus of this campaign will be on the depollution process and the disposal route for the waste produced. The audit will assess the effectiveness of your depollution process and the storage and handling of the associated fluids and waste materials. The audit will also include; technical competence, record keeping, compliance with hazardous waste regs and F Gas compliance.

To make sure you’re operating correctly, AutoDrain is offering readers a free check up which will include:
  • A full on site diagnostic check for your depollution process
  • Assessment of your storage for fluids
  • F Gas compliance check
  • Fuel Recovery competence
  • Assessment of your depollution training needs

As we mentioned, this service is free of charge, and should you like AutoDrain to assist you in maintaining your compliance with the ELV Directive, you can call them on 0113 2059332 to arrange a convenient date. AutoDrain has a full team of engineers and depollution experts available to help with any queries that you may have. Visit AutoDrain’s website here.

January 2016


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