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Palm Oil Mills Loss Prevention

HAZARDOUS AREAS IN PALM OIL MILLS 1. Loading Bay During low crop season the Fresh Fruit bunches may be left at the loading bay for a long time before they are being transferred to the steriliser. The accumulation of palm fruits here increases the risk of spontaneous combustion. 2. Fruit Elevator After sterilising the palm fruits are warm and oily. As the fruits are transferred by fruit elevator (in some mills only), any contact of additional heats may cause a fire inside the fruit elevator. A fire in the fruit elevator is difficult to control because it is partly covered and it could spread to the rest of the production line. The additional heat could be a result of hotwork done for maintenance or repair at a location near the fruit elevator. 3. Depericarper Fruits from the pressor are transferred into the depericarper after most of the oil is obtained. The depericarper separates the fruit into fibres and kernel. A fire can occur here because there are fuel (dry fibres), oxygen (air required to blow fibres to boiler) and heat source (generated by the depericarper machines). 4. Kernel silo The kernel silo area is hazardous due to its oil content and temperature. Fire can be ignited spontaneously inside the silo if the kernels are kept there longer than it should. The fire hazards are increased as the fuel, oxygen and heat are all inside the silo making fire fighting more difficult to handle. 5. Excess fibres Sometimes (in some mills) there will be excess fibres not required by the boiler. The excess fibres are usually dry and easily combustible. Accumulation of such waste within the production building increases the risk of fire. When the excess fibres are on fire, they are also possible to spread fire because they can be blown by wind to other areas.

LOSS PREVENTION MEASURE FOR PALM OIL MILLS 1. Fire Fighting Team Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and Regulations (Act 514), it states that every employer has the duty to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees, so as far as is practicable. In the process of achieving the above obligation, it further states under the Act that for an organisation of more than forty (40) people employed, the employer shall establish a safety and health committee at the workplace. One of the functions of the committee is to keep under review measures taken to ensure safety and health of persons at workplace.

The committee shall look into all safety aspects within the organisation, covering all areas from the main operation area to even the office area. Fire safety is one of the vital safety aspects that has to be covered by the committee. It is strongly recommended that another committee be formed to handle this matter known as fire fighting team. In the fire fighting team, there should be at least 8 (eight) persons per shift fully trained in all aspects of fire fighting. In the event of a fire, this team should co-ordinate to : 1. 2. 3. 4. Raise the alarm or siren (has to be installed if there is none on site) Call the fire brigade Monitor workers evacuation Fight the fire with the readily usable fire fighting appliances available in the mill.

The other functions of the fire fighting team shall be: 1. To ensure all fire safety regulations at workplace are strictly complied with. 2. To ensure all the fire fighting equipment are well maintained and in good working condition at all times 3. Liaison with Bomba to conduct fire drills for the mill employees at least twice a year. It would be very necessary to have a fully trained and competent fire fighting team for the following reasons appended below :Due to the remoteness of the mill, in the event a fire occurs, it may be too late by the time the nearest fire brigade response to render assistance. By having a fully organised fire fighting team is very useful to prevent further damages either to life or property in the event of a fire. As the first five (5) to ten (10) minutes are the most critical, a quick and effective response by the fire team can at the very least minimise the loss.

2. Fire Fighting Equipment (i) Hand Fire Extinguishers Hand fire extinguisher is the most portable fire fighting facility that a fully trained in-house fire fighting personnel can use to attack a fire at the early stage. For every 2,250 square feet, there should be at least one (1) 9 kg dry powder hand fire extinguisher or four (4) 2.27 kg carbon dioxide hand fire extinguishers. In the boiler room and for all electrical appliances, 2.27 kg carbon dioxide hand fire extinguishers should be provided. All the extinguishers should be kept either mounted on brackets or in a prominent position and should be serviced annually by a reputable fire contractor. (ii) Hydraulic Hose Reels Hydraulic hose reel is an active protection system where its usage is for a

fully trained in-house fire fighting personnel to attack a fire while awaiting for Bomba to render services. The system should not be used other than for fire fighting purpose. Please refer to the attached sheet for specification. At least once a week, the system should be tested to ensure it is in good working condition and whatever problems encountered should be rectified as soon as possible. (iii) Hydrants and Canvas Hoses Hydrant is an active protection system which normally used by Bomba personnel to fight a fire. In spite of that, it can also be used by fully trained in-house fire fighting personnel. Similar to hose reels, the system should not be used other than for fire fighting purpose. Please refer to the attached sheet for specification. (iv) Water Drencher System The nut silo, palm kernel silo, digester, screw press and the fruit elevator should be fitted with a water drencher system to prevent spontaneous combustion (if the mill does not already have one installed) as these are critical areas to the operation of the palm oil mill. In the warehouse area, it would be necessary to maintain good housekeeping practises coupled with proper storage arrangements. 3. No Smoking Rule The No Smoking rule should be strictly enforced by the mill management throughout the entire mill. Smoking should strictly be allowed only at designated smoking areas e.g. canteen. Employees caught smoking should be given a stern warning and for second time offenders, dismissal should be considered. 4. Hot Work Permit All the hot process inside the premises (e.g. cutting, welding etc.) should only be conducted with a Hot Work Permit Scheme implemented. With the Hot work Scheme, no employee or outside contractor may start any hot work operations until he has obtained a permit from the factory manager or safety officer. The permit is a means of ensuring that :(i) The area is made as safe as possible before any hot work begins (ii) Precautions are taken while the work is in progress (iii) The area is checked afterwards A copy of the publication by the Fire Prevention Association of UK on the needs and practice of this scheme is enclosed for your attention and appropriate action.

5. Security Guards The security guards must be provided with a telephone in the guard house in order to make a call to the fire brigade in an emergency. Patrol clocking stations should be fitted around the premises perimeter so that the security

guards patrol the premises at regular intervals, especially at night. Further, all the security guards should be part of the fire fighting team and they should be given formal training with fire drills conducted at least twice a year. 6. Housekeeping (Workshop & Store) The workshop and store are areas where good housekeeping procedures need to be implemented. These would be :All oxy-acetylene and other gas cylinders are chained within a confined area to prevent the cylinders from toppling. Ensuring all oil containers (including empty drums) are always kept closed with the lids screwed on. This is because if left open, flammable vapours may disperse in the air and if it comes into contact with an ignition source, an explosion may result. All oil leaks should be cleaned and the rags used to clean it should not be left lying around. Either they should be disposed into metal bins with self closing lids or the rags should be kept soaked within a small container with water at all times. All the electrical wiring should either be carried in metal trays or metal conduits. It is vital that all welding and cutting is not done in the vicinity of power points with electrical wires dangling loosely without any protection. Under no circumstances should workers be allowed to smoke inside the workshop. No Smoking signs should be put at the entrance with regular checks conducted by the supervisor.

7. Bunding of Diesel Storage Tanks Ideally, the diesel skid tank(s) should be enclosed within a bund wall that can absorb a spill up to 110% by volume of the largest skid tank within the wall. Alternatively, the diesel skid tanks should be bunded with a one (1) foot high cement wall on three (3) sides, designed with an incline of 30. This will enable any spillage to be confined within the bund and the 30 incline will prevent diesel seeping out from the open side of the bund wall. The open side of the bund wall will facilitate movement of the skid tank into and out of the bund wall without breaking the wall.

8. Protection for kernel silos The kernel silo where kernels are temporary kept before packing is considered a high risk area within the palm oil mill. Smouldering of kernel have been reported frequently and damage to silos are also possible. A standard approach to minimise this occurrence is by installing a drencher at the top of the silo. A drencher or sometimes called a wet riser consists of piping system with a manual valve to allow water to cool down the kernel inside the silo. It is also important that the valve for the system is located away from the silo itself. A man-hole can be installed at the bottom of the silo. During an emergency, the man-hole can be opened quickly allowing kernel to drop onto the ground, thus allow fire fighting by portable fire extinguishers or hose reel.

Kernel silos or silos in general can also have temperature probe installed to monitor temperature inside the silo.

9. Protection to weighbridge The weighing cell at weighbridge is sensitive to lightning damage. Apart from using lightning arrestor and surge protector, other recommendations which have been practiced by some palm oil mills are : a) constructing a shed over the weighbridge area b) changing pit type weighbridge to 1 foot elevated weighbridge c) manual weighing when there is a thunder storm d) using surge protector for both ends of cable connecting computer and weigh cells e) separate earthing for lightning arrestors and electricals Note: Lightning arrestors are normally protecting building only but not the sensitive electricals inside.

SPECIFICATIONS Hydraulic Hose Reels Hoses for the hydraulic hose reels must be of reinforced rubber lined hoses of not less than three quarter () inch nor more than one and a quarter (1) inch internal diameter. The rubber hoses must not exceed one hundred and fourty eight (148) feet in length and be fitted with nozzles of not more than one quarter () inch internal diameter. (Note : The above stated one quarter () inch nozzle requirement may be omitted where combination jet/spray nozzles are fitted and provided the jet is capable of reaching not less than twenty (20) feet) The number and distribution shall be such that the whole of each building is protected and that no part of the floor is more than twenty (20) feet distant from a hose nozzle when the hose is fully extended. Ideally, there should be four (4) hose reel points installed at all the four (4) corners of the mill. The hose reels system must be permanently connected to an adequate constant supply of water of 800 gallons (3,640 litres). Water supply should be boosted by stationary pumps to ensure there is adequate water pressure in the system. The stationary pumps must be capable to discharge water at 20 gallons per minute through the nozzle. Hydrants and Canvas Hoses There should be at least one (1) hydrant for each 250 feet of external wall measurement and the hydrant should not be located more than 75 feet away from the building. For every two (2) hydrants, there should be provided at least one hundred (100) feet of hose and fixed jet/spray nozzles, kept under cover in purpose built cabinets located in convenient places. The hydrant mains and hoses must have a clear waterway of at least two and a half (2) inches in diameter. The hydrant system must be fed from an independent water supply having a minimum capacity of 12,000 gallons (54,560 litres) with manual or automatic pumps. Each pump shall be capable of

discharging at a rate of not less than 200 gallons per minute (900 liters per minute) to the highest point of the protected premises. Alternatively, the hydrant system shall be permanently connected to an adequate constant water supply from the public mains. (Note : Where Stationery Fire Pumps are provided to ensure the requisite pressure, they must comply with the under noted requirements). Stationary Fire Pumps - Requirements (a) The appliances must always be available on the premises (b) Each pump must be housed in an easily accessible position where it will not be liable to be damaged by fire or otherwise (c) There must be kept on hand at all times sufficient fuel to run all the pumps at full load for not less than twelve (12) hours and power must always be available for each pump