PROPER IDENTIFICATION OF THE PRODUCT
Often the sole means of identifying the product carried within a tank container is the load of paperwork. In case of unaccompanied tank container movements, these local documents are physically transferred from one transporter to the next, including the involvement of third parties such as ferry and rail operators.
This hand-over clearly increases the risk of papers being left behind, getting lost or stolen. No chemical producer or distributor would ever consider dispatching an unmarked drum, loaded with chemicals, and identified only by a set of unattached papers. A tank container is nothing more then a large drum in terms of content identification.
A SMALL EFFORT TO AVOID ENORMOUS CONSEQUENCES
The potential repercussions of product identification errors can be enormous. In case of discharging into the wrong storage location, the consequences are immense and could lead from contamination to production shutdown or even explosions and life endangering situations.
YOUR RESPONSIBLE ATTITUDE
Your sense of responsibility as a customer should lead to the introduction of tank container valve labelling. Not only the people handling or carrying the product, but the entire environment will benefit from your concern for safety.
The valve labels should only be completed and attached by the operator who loaded the tank container, and not by a separate administrative department. If any other department or party completes the labels and organizes to attach the labels to the tank container, the safety initiative looses its value because errors in content identification can already have taken place.
Why can’t the carrier complete and attach the labels?
The driver would complete the labels with product data he takes from the loading instructions which he received from his employer, meaning with what he assumes to have been loaded into the tank container. For several reasons however, a product which differs from the original loading instructions can have been loaded into the tank container. Only the loading operator therefore knows the exact content of the tank container he just loaded.
Of course, all Huktra drivers will be happy to assist in completing and attaching the labels in order to reduce the labour effort required, but the label contents and their locations should be decided by the loading operator only.
What can go wrong with the product identification?
There is a variety of ways by which a tanker can be incorrectly identified by the load papers at the delivery point, namely:
- The supplied load documents are incorrect.
- The original load identification papers get lost or swapped in transit due to several reasons:
- The supplied load documents are incorrect
- Damaged in transit due to weather conditions
- Stolen in transit by third parties for commercial reasons
- Held back by one of the consecutive carriers for administrative purposes
- Not travelling with the tank
- Insufficient load identification procedures at the delivery point
What does Huktra do within its own internal organisation to avoid any product identification errors?
As an ISO 9002 certified haulier, Huktra has several safety and quality procedures. To specifically deal with the risk of product identification errors Huktra has installed 3 well defined internal safety procedures. These three systems are all aimed at verifying that our tank container carries the product we expect it to.
- LOAD CHECK PROCEDURE
A detailed check to confirm that the loaded product tallies with the order booking.
- TRANSIT CHECK PROCEDURE
To verify our own internal supply of load data.
- DELIVERY PROCEDURE
A specific delivery procedure to avoid any discharge errors.
We realize that the ultimate safety check (i.e. a physical analysis of the product before discharge) is not always possible due to health and safety considerations and due to other reasons.
A suggestion to limit the risks at the delivery point is to attach product labels sealing the discharge valves and the loading hatches. The label should be weatherproof and firmly attached to the valve (please do not underestimate the risk of the label becoming detached or unreadable due to extreme weather and transit conditions!). The label should not contain any commercial information in order to reduce the possibility of it being removed in transit by interested third parties.
We strongly believe that valve labelling offers a significant contribution to safety.