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Plank Decking as a Safety Device in Wastewater Treatment Plants

August 6, 2012

Every workplace setting has its own set of specific safety hazards.  Waste water treatment plants are not excluded.  The work that is done at a treatment plant is extremely valuable to our environment and should be taken seriously.  The process of screening, aerating, removing sludge, removing scum, and killing bacteria so the water can be released back into a river or water system creates specific health and safety risks for those who work the system.

This is a short list of the specific hazards related to waste water treatment plants:
1.)    Machinery
2.)    Working and walking surfaces
3.)    Scaffolds and ladders
4.)    Materials that may start on fire-combustible
5.)    Welding/cutting/brazing
6.)    Gases that are compressed
7.)    Electrical equipment
8.)    Water/sewage handling and storage
9.)    Power tools
10.) Hazardous and toxic substances

Safety measures must be in place to keep employees healthy while on the job.  Non-slip plank decking is light weight and extremely slip resistant.  Waste water treatment plants can use aluminum plank on their walking/working surfaces in order to reduce odor any risk of slip and falls.  Areas like tank covers, access covers and any area requiring drainage can be made safe with non-slip punched plank decking or aluminum grating.  Slip resistant ladder rungs and covers also help protect employees in this slippery environment from slipping off from a ladder.   The Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in OH utilized SlipNOT® steel rungs for employee safety.

Hazards list based on: Spellman, Frank. Safe Work Practices for Wastewater Treatment Plants.  Technical Publishing Company. 2001. < http://books.google.com/books?id=bHDFLBSLL1gC&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=wastewater+treatment+plant+safety+inspection+checklist&source=bl&ots=NhSDJtRos1&sig=ILZm-oxrAQT8c9WhMhikVupf1_8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=spsGUK3vKcWe2wWk4fm5BQ&ved=0CEoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=wastewater%20treatment%20plant%20safety%20inspection%20checklist&f=false>

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