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Univar standardises its explosion proof forklift fleet by using Pyroban technology

Univar has set a new corporate safety policy to standardise its explosion proof forklift fleet in Europe by using Pyroban technology. For the first time, Operations Managers from Univar sites across Europe gathered at Pyroban’s headquarters in the UK for bespoke training on the new Pan-European safety practice.

Univar, a leading European company specialising in the sales, marketing, application and safe handling of a wide range of chemicals and ingredients, has almost 40 facilities across Europe handling significant quantities of flammable solvent.

We don’t do the bare minimum on health and safety, we exceed legal requirements and do what is ethically correct for all concerned" explains Martyn Bapty, Project Manager for Univar’s European Operations Team. "Handling flammable solvents using forklift trucks has always been a focal point for site safety policy because of their potential to cause an ignition through energy or heat.

"We wanted to standardise the approach in line with our Europe-wide management system, U+, which requires each site to continually improve their Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality performance".
Univar has almost 250 forklifts operating across Europe, with approximately 20% required for use in either zone 1 or zone 2 potentially explosive atmospheres at the repacking or distribution centres. Two German manufacturers were selected as forklift suppliers with a mandatory requirement for Pyroban explosion protection on all trucks operating in ATEX* zones.
Martyn comments "The Pyroban training day has allowed key Managers to fully understand the practical aspects that keep an operation safe through highly professional presentations on ATEX, area classification, EN1755** and the conversion process from the Pyroban team".

During the following factory tour, Univar representatives saw a fleet of 7
Jungheinrich DFG425s being ed for zone 2 operation in their Nordics Operation. "Our basic truck is a 2.5 tonne diesel machine and we selected the two German forklift brands after involving operators in trials. Both suppliers use a turbo-charged VW engine, which means higher operating temperatures and Pyroban was the only company we could find with the expertise to both brands to ATEX. The demonstrations at Pyroban showed how we can achieve the protection levels we need and keep the original controls and ergonomic benefits offered by a premium truck".

Pyroban’s solution for zone 1 is passive, while for zone 2, system 5000™ provides an active approach through gas/vapour detection, shutdown and component modification. This approach means that the ATEX trucks maintain almost all original features and performance characteristics. For the ‘safe areas’ outside of the zones, Pyroban’s gas detection and shutdown system, Gascheka, will also be used on many of the standard trucks, as the company’s commitment to safety means that it takes all steps necessary to ensure the protection of its staff.

Pyroban finished the presentations by explaining how to keep an explosion proof truck safe throughout its lifetime. The suppliers’ engineers will be fully trained to maintain Pyroban systems at Univar sites in the first instance, but are also supported by Pyroban’s own engineers, parts supply and annual safety audits.

The final part of the training day involved live demonstrations of flame transmission tests and explosions. "Witnessing the explosion of a small amount of gas is a powerful reminder of why safety is our number one priority. Our goal is to have every European site operating with Pyroban equipment" adds Martyn.

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