Tate & Lyle are a global leader in carbohydrate processing, with high quality brands that add value to consumer products around the world, including both global cola manufacturers and their associated brands, cereal companies, breweries and confectionary companies. Operating from 80 sites in over 40 countries, with a turnover of £4 billion – the largest sugar refinery in the World is at Silvertown, on the Thames, in east London.
In operation for well over 100 years the Silvertown factory produces 140 tonnes of sugar per hour, working continuous shifts to meet demand. The factory administers every part of the production process, from the raw material arriving by boat on the Thames, to filtration and cleaning, processing, refining and packaging.
Tate & Lyle are an extremely safety conscious company. After a safety inspection within the filter room the current practice was deemed unsafe. In order to maintain and clean the large filtration tanks on a weekly basis, two members of the maintenance team must work together to unclamp the outer fixings and remove the 72 filters from inside. This would involve clambering over the machinery, which has been left to cool overnight from its operational 85 degrees and standing 2 metres up to unclamp the fixings. Not only was it unsafe to climb on machinery and equipment that was not designed for access, but also once on top of the tank there were no handrails or means of fall & arrest.
Solution Suggested by TB Davies
TB Davies advised access from the opposite side of the tank, away from the counterbalance mechanism. A bespoke ladder, platform and staging unit was devised which can be dismantled and erected where and when maintenance is required. This provides a safe means of accessing 75% of the tanks, with guard and handrails.