Category one – Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue
Fulton Hogan's Geebung emulsion manufacturing plant specialises in producing emulsions and polymer modified binders. As bitumen is manufactured, stored, transported and handled at 190 degrees celsius, there are risks when transferring the finished product from the storage tanks to the specialised vehicles that transport the product.
To make the process safer, Fulton Hogan replaced its old load-out gantry with a fully automated load-out gantry. This eliminated the manual labour components of the workers' roles. Multiple cameras installed around the plant are connected to the control room, meaning there is a visual, real-time overview of each process undertaken at the plant. The entire automated process is controlled by a mass flow meter and monitored from the central control room.
Each tanker driver's mobile phone has a Fulton Hogan application called 'Hik-Connect' that links to the software used by the plant (connected to the network of cameras) and helps the drivers line up under the load-out spear. This means the driver can navigate to exactly the right spot under the load-out pipe without having to get out of the cab to check positioning.
The cameras and automated machinery lower the pipe and nozzle into the opened truck hatch without any need for human involvement. This process has eliminated risks of burns, splashes, spills, and prolonged exposure to high concentrations of bitumen fumes, as well as being safer, the plant is more efficient.