The pumping and cleaning of septic tanks is actually a highly specific job, as any vacuum truck operator will quickly agree. Not just is it physically demanding, it is dangerous as a result of potential exposure to highly toxic materials and gases. The correct handling of harmful materials is essential, as it could lead to serious illness or even death if not done properly. For these reasons, every septic service should ensure that operators are well-trained within the safety procedures associated with not just running the machine but in handling toxic materials in order to safeguard themselves, others and the environment.
There are 2 handling times when vacuum truck operators needs to be the most observant: when performing the particular job so when emptying and cleaning the equipment. Both can have equally devastating results or even properly executed, putting an owning company in danger of fines along with other penalties from OSHA. Even the most careful operators can have an accident, so it will be essential that all employees be well-trained and understand and follow all company safety procedures.
Job Site Protection
Following are many things important areas to contemplate when working at a job site.
Opening – Septic containers should be opened with careful attention as solid waste can decompose, releasing toxic gases that fill the tank. Hydrogen sulfide and methane gases could cause a large explosion as well as be extremely toxic and suffocate or kill a person with only a few deep breaths. Bacteria is also present in decomposing material that could be harmful with direct contact. So it is very important wear safety gear including respirators, gloves and protective clothing.
Flammability – Needless to say, the hazardous gases would explode if a spark or flame were encountered, so smoking or any kind of flame is strictly prohibited as a result of these gases.
Suctioning – When suctioning from the septic tank, operators has to be very observant as there is far more involved with this procedure than merely awaiting a container to fill. As the material is transferred from the tank in to the truck container, gases along with pressure and temperature can build up. Any matter left inside the container from the previous job could 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 successfully suctioned, the disposal of toxic waste will be the next main safety concern.
Dump Sites – Operators must know where approved dump sites can be found and then document the sort of material being carried in order to avoid any toxic reactions, spills or other accidents. Any rules set forth through the dump site or any governmental agencies must be strictly followed.
Maintenance – Vehicle maintenance has to be performed frequently to stop potential equipment failure throughout the dumping procedure.
Cleaning – Once the truck tank continues to be emptied, it must be thoroughly ojlart as leaving a clean truck for the next operation is a very critical safety precaution. As previously mentioned, any material remaining within a truck’s reservoir that could mix with new material from the future job might actually result in a chemical reaction which may at the very least cause delays while the thing is handled and even worse, might lead to the tank to explode.
Ultimately, work safety depends on employee training and subsequent diligence in following precautionary measures; this ought to be required by every company. Accidents involving septic pumping may appear to be only an unpleasant nuisance; realistically, it could be a lot more serious than that. Proper safety methods are essential in providing safe, thorough septic services and in reducing any involved risks!