Letters To The Editor, 22nd April, 2019

Safety first Simon Hazelman, Savusavu The first thing that caught my eye about MV Liahona II was the largely printed “Safety First” sign on the front of the vessel. Well,
22 Apr 2019 17:24

Safety first

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

The first thing that caught my eye about MV Liahona II was the largely printed “Safety First” sign on the front of the vessel.

Well, this incident on the Safety First Liahona definitely confirms one thing!

How does the whole front ramp fall into the sea?

How is it that the captain, engineer and crew did not notice the faulty ramp attachments?

Or was it reported and nothing was done about it?

Why are we allowing such vessels into the country?

For by doing so, we are putting our lives at stake!


Flammable contamination

Satish Nakched, Suva

We have recently seen new fuel service stations been built in the heavily-populous area along Ratu Dovi Road and one under construction is at the back of the Valelevu Health Centre in Nasinu.

Like the other service station, the bulk fuel needs to be transferred by the tankers and filled in the underground tanks almost twice a week with the usage of the hose that connects the vehicle and the underground storage tanks.

For that process to take place the air needs to be emitted through the tall vent pipes when the fuel is pumped in.

This works almost like a toilet system that without a breezer pipe installed outside the toilet the waste cannot be flushed down to the sewage pipes.

The vent pipes are about more than ten feet in height so that the airborne contaminants do not affect the outlet.

Since the outlet vent openings is at an ad- equate height the odour and the contamination should be filtered before it evaporates in the atmosphere.

In the case of overfilling the excess fuel exit out of this opening also. Different types of fuel have different vent pipes.

Without the release of the excessive contaminated air in the storage tanks it will be impossible to continue with the filling process.

However, the problem is that these flammable airborne pollutants without any filtering mechanism are released into the environment and affects the residents of the surrounding that are very close to the vicinity of the gas station.

The filling progress can last up to two hours, which with prolonged exposure may lead to the adverse health of the residents nearby.

I believe that the fuel franchisor and the franchisee have a corporate social responsibility in the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and to ensure that none of their actions negatively affects the quality of life of the employees and the general public at large.

The fuel companies have robust OHS safety policies, but only geared to provide the protection for its workers on site and do not recognise that there are people also living outside the perimeter of their fence line.

The goal of all occupational safety and health programmes is to foster a safe work environment.

As a secondary effect, it may also protect co-workers, employers, customers, suppliers, nearby communities, and other members of the public who are impacted by the workplace environment.

This is a very high-risk issue and immediate corrective actions must be implemented because it becomes a moral obligation to work within the legislated Environment Management Act 2005.

The Act states that a facility must not discharge any waste or pollutant into the environment and to engage in any activity that may have an adverse impact on human health or the environment.

The ministry concerned with the use of the air quality equipment must randomly measure the air quality index to determine if we are within the range of the WHO specification.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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