Safety is an important concern in the operation of a vacuum truck. While this may seem like a harmless piece of equipment, there are serious risks associated with its use. It is important to learn the risks involved and safe use of this vehicle before considering a vacuum truck for sale to prevent the creation of any work-related hazards.
The following are some of the most common hazards involved in the use of a vacuum truck:
Toxic Gas Exposure – One of the leading causes of work-related injuries involving a vacuum truck is toxic gas exposure. This gas develops when different types of acidic fluids are mixed together inside a single storage tank, resulting in the release of toxic gas.
It is possible for one fluid alone to be capable of producing toxic gas, such as waste water that has been mixed with oil and gas. These fluids contain high levels of hydrogen sulfide which could release toxic gas.
Exposure to these gases could cause sudden nausea. Prolonged exposure could result in disorientation, which could lead to loss of consciousness. If not given immediate first aid, the toxic fumes could result in death.
Exposure to Harmful Pathogens – It is possible for exposure to fluids containing pathogens to have the potential to cause disease. This is the case in the handling of sewage fluids. Even there is not direct contact with the fluids being suctioned; drippings on the vehicle parts could still carry pathogens that could cause contamination if touched.
Being Suctioned – While there are only a few moving external components on a vacuum truck, there is still great physical danger involved with its operation. This vehicle produces a massive amount of suction, which could inflict physical injury. This was the case when a worker manually removed a blockage in a suction tube using his bare hands without first shutting down the vacuum unit. When the blockage was removed, the suction was so great that it suctioned off his arm.
Safe Work Practices
The following are some work practices that will help maintain safety and avoid hazards:
- Risk Awareness – Workers must be aware of the risks associated with the fluid being handled.
- Air Quality Monitoring – Air quality monitoring on the venting house of the truck should be done continuously to monitor for any sudden chemical reactions or release of toxic gases.
- Proper Maintenance – Ensure all the truck parts are in good condition, including the interior of the tank, the filter bag housing and the cyclone separators. Any remaining debris could cause a reaction in the fluids being suctioned.
- Monitoring – Monitor the tank level to avoid overfilling; also monitor the pressure gauges to avoid over pressurizing the tanks. Monitor the temperature of the tank for heat that could be a result of a chemical reaction.
- Do Not Mix Fluids – Never mix fluids which will prevent a chemical reaction from occurring.
- Record-Keeping – Keep a record of fluids transported to prevent mixing reactive fluids.
- First Aid – Make sure that first aid equipment is readily available in case a toxic gas outbreak should occur.
When considering the purchase of a vacuum truck for sale, operators and personnel should undergo training to learn all applicable safety guidelines. During training, a thorough understanding of the hazards involved in this line of work will be provided. The use safety equipment will be taught, such as personal alarms and air supplied respirators. Most importantly, how to respond in case of an emergency and how to provide first aid to injured workers will also be provided.
Being aware of the hazards and risks involved in the operation of a vacuum truck can only serve to emphasize the importance of safety guidelines in the vacuum truck industry. The hazards of working in this industry can be avoided by taking the safety advice offered here!