I am looking for ANY info on tactics/operations at sugar processing plants. I have a small team, 5 people counting me, on a tiny island off the coast of Japan but the location of the factory to the local homes makes it a danger. I would be thankful for any input no matter how small you might think it is.
Well, I don't know how they have their sugar mills set up in Japan but we cover two of them in my area (SE Louisiana). It's our primary industry. Can't say we've got any special tactics for dealing with the mills because historically they've never given us much of a problem, at least with fires.
Some problems that do come to mind:
Confined space/high angle rescue...a sugar mill is a big facility with lots of large vats, boilers, etc. At our mill, at least, they are going into vessels constantly for maintenance and repairs. They may or may not be following proper confined space entry practices or have a rescue team available. You may be expected to provide this service.
Bagasse fires...the bagasse, or the dried, pulpy waste material left over after the juice has been extracted, is usually piled up on site somewhere until it can be disposed of (in our mills it's actually used to fire the boilers during grinding). But there's usually a huge pile of it lying around somewhere and it can and does occasionally catch fire. Doesn't make a big dangerous fire but more of a deep, smoldering, hard to get at mess. Kind of like trying to put out a garbage dump. You may need the mill's assistance with a front end loader or similar equipment to break up and move the pile around if you get a fire in this stuff.
Large buildings...although the sugar production process does not involve any large quantities of flammables or other hazardous materials, you still have some mighty big buildings like any factory or plant. Potentially one of your larger target hazards, requiring very large fire flows. I don't know how your mill is constructed (fire resistive vs. older timber construction) but it's something to consider.
I guess there's always the potential that a boiler could explode but we've never had that happen here, at least not in my memory.
In my experience, the biggest problem we usually respond to the sugar mill for is medical emergencies...the normal slip-and-fall, man vs. machine type of injuries that you'll get at any industrial site.
Actually, the biggest problems we have around here during the grinding (or harvest) season are generally related to the farmers and not the mill. They still burn the cane fields around here (to burn off the shucks, leaves, and debris) and occasionally these fires get out of the fields and onto adjacent property or too close to buildings, requiring our intervention. Also, tractors, harvesters, and barely-legal, overloaded trucks and trailers hauling cane on the public roadways, in addition to all the mud that invariably gets tracked on the roads, add to our motor vehicle accidents.
My suggestion would be to schedule a visit to the mill, take a tour, ask some questions, and use your imagination as to what scenarios you might face there. Good luck!
Originally Posted by recoffey
Any Pics Ed? Savannah, Ga had a hellova explosion at a Sugar Refining Plant a couple of years ago, Some fatalities. From memory it was an issue with the Dust byproduct from the manufactoring process with poor house keeping. I'm going down there this summer and will try and talk to the guys I used to know in Savannah Hazmat. Let me know what you would like for info.
Find this on google.
Youtube video of Report on Explosion and fire.