Drill & Blast

Fire protection standard for mobile and portable equipment

Fire protection solutions in Australia are based on the level of perceived risk in each case, such as the likelihood of a fire occurring and the expected consequence as a result.

Most Australian Standards that deal with fire protection offer an appropriate fire  solution based on risk analysis and  management in the form of prescriptive fire solutions presented within mandatory clauses for scope and technical requirements.

Australian Standard AS5062-2006 – Fire Protection for Mobile and Transportable Equipment – is the pre-eminent Standard for fire protection of heavy vehicles used in industries such as quarrying. It promotes rigorous processes for risk analysis and assessment as a prerequisite to determine the design and installation of the best fire protection system for each individual heavy vehicle application. It is the first fire protection Standard to base fire protection on a risk analysis model, rather than a fixed prescriptive model.

Leading fire protection specialist Wormald has embraced the Standard?s assessment and reporting process and its strict quality processes now include:
? A formalised Wormald Vehicle Fire  Suppression (VFS) System risk assessment and reporting which is designed to assess critical considerations. This incorporates a formal technical assessment for each  vehicle application, which is ?peer reviewed? by an accredited, experienced Wormald VFS System technician. The reports include:
   – Fire hazard identification.
   – Fire risk analysis.
   – Fire risk treatment/reduction.
   – Recommendation for the most  appropriate fire solution.

? A risk assessment accreditation process to ensure that only experienced and  formally accredited Wormald VFS Systems technicians perform the risk assessment and ?peer review?.

? A strict training structure to provide the necessary technical knowledge, on the job experience and mentoring in Wormald?s VFS Systems.

? Wormald?s technical electronic library has been developed by the Technical  Services Group and contains the latest technical information to support the  Wormald VFS Systems including Australian Standards, system manuals, testing and listing approvals, procedures and much more for its entire VFS Systems staff  to access.

?Since achieving AS 5062 compliance, we?ve continued to develop our assessment and reporting processes in order to provide quality customer service,? advised Steve Oxley, the national products manager  for vehicle systems at Wormald. ?This Standard is essential for the industry and we hope to see more companies adopting  it in the future.?

Richard Harris from Atlas Copco Specialty Rental couldn?t agree more.

 ?Should a fire occur, it?s vital that our rental compressor units are equipped  with fire suppression systems that ensure the safety of operators, protect our machines and minimise the risk involved in the  hazardous situations in which we operate, such as underground mines and oil refineries.

?The fact that Wormald has been pushing for this Standard from the very beginning is testament to the company?s dedication to ensuring a safe working environment for operators. We hope that the AS 5062 Standard will be made mandatory across the mining industry so that employees can rest assured they are protected when operating heavy vehicles and equipment.?

Wormald?s systems include the Wormald Foam Water Spray System and the Ansul A101 Vehicle Powder System as well as Dual Agent Systems. The Foam Water Spray System features high pressure, small droplet nozzles targeting high and medium risk areas, such as engine and transmission compartments and hydraulic areas, and utilises the fire suppression and containment features of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Alternately, the A101 system  discharges a dry powder known as Foray into the hazard volume to suppress a fire and is well suited to three dimensional liquid fuel fires.

Source: Wormald VFS Systems/Write Away Communication + Events,  www.wormald.com.au

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