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Safe Together - Information Seminars Concerning the Safe Loading and Unloading of Tank Cars Carried Out

Rail car providers are convinced: “Of course we provide safe equipment” And operational users say: “Of course we know exactly how to work safely on a tank car” But nothing is already so safe that it cannot be made even safer.

Mutual, open exchange of information helps to do so. Most recent example: An information seminar concerning the safe loading and unloading procedures of rail tank cars. In the interests of Covestro, GATX, an international railcar leasing company, had specially adapted it in cooperation with the Site Logistics NRW Department.

“Such a seminar requires cross-company cooperation in matters of safety. Through the cooperative partnership work, we can make our services even safer”, emphasized Jens Hachtel, Head of Site Logistics NRW at Covestro.

Open Exchange of Information for Sustainable Safety
40 employees of the Covestro partner companies involved in the loading and unloading processes and Covestro employees from the operational areas and from management took part in each of the four, two hour-long theoretical and practical units. In the process, all the questions concerned with the correct handling and operating modes of tank cars were dealt with: What must be considered when emptying from the top? What do the markings on the tank cars mean? What mistakes should be avoided during cleaning? What obligations must be complied with? And what is a crash buffer? These and many other aspects were examined by Roman Grünhagen from GATX in his theoretical explanations. The first-hand feedback about the GATX cars was very valuable for him: In addition to the important, and in this training implemented imparting of know-how about the handling of our cars, we want to enter into concrete exchanges with the employees and hear where there is potential for improvement. We are always willing to take in new insights in order to be able to take them into account appropriately during maintenance or newly builts” he explained.

On site on the tank car, GATX specialist, Knut Reuter, clarified the individual steps of the unloading process, explained the safety equipment and pointed out innovations. “It is important to recognize possible damage or leaks and to report them immediately. This is an important part of the general obligations of the loader”, he explained.

Positive Feedback from the Participants
The seminar met with a completely positive response from the participants. “I manage the cars for Covestro. The participation has been worth it for me, because I can now pass on the important technical details to my colleagues, too”, explained Michael Esser. The responsible hazardous goods Officer, Ralf Hendricks, agrees: “The information on site from an expert and the opportunity to ask questions were brilliant and will help in future discussions about safety with colleagues. New for me were the different types of rubber coatings for the interior lining” Martin Göbert from 3PL Management added: “I have learned many new technical details. This new knowledge will help me when we talk in teams about the best possible safety.” The participation was worth it for Christine Frey, employee in logistics-purchasing, too: “I have learned what is important for the loader and which specific equipment is crucial. These were important criteria for me for potential orders”.

At the end, the speakers and participants in the seminar were convinced: The information seminar had been a complete success and had contributed to making the loading and unloading processes of tank cars even safer.