Water pressure vigilance ensures full ASIB compliance
Ensuring the safety of each and every employee on site is always top of mind for RPC Astrapak Plastform SHE Officer Arlene Manuel, and certification to prove this quest was delivered when the site achieved full compliance on their ASIB audit recently.
Certification from the Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau (ASIB) occurs every six months, and requires that the site is compliant with all the pipes and sprinklers being placed where they should be to reach every corner of the factory with adequate water pressure in case of a fire.
The current drought in the Western Cape has called for steep measures on how water in the area is conserved, as the drought relentlessly continues and our valuable resource becomes even more scarce.
This in turn has had an effect on the water pressure and water supply at the Cape Town factory, whereby the local town council has reduced the water pressure to less than five bars. “Extra measures are currently in place leading up to, and since, the audit,” said Arlene. “My team is vigilant and on high alert to check the water pressure and we document it daily to ensure that this does not impact on our safety equipment and required pressure to the valves in the event of a fire.”
Despite the restrictions on their water pressure, RPC Astrapak Plastform fall within the required range of water flow and water pressure for the square meterage of the site.
Arlene’s team on the ground have been instrumental in ensuring compliance. “We work closely with the maintenance manager and HODs so that they are all aware of the water pressure to the sprinkler system,” she said. “The security team and staff in stores are also fully aware.”
Having streamlined systems in place keeps the safety of all staff covered when equipment requires repairs or maintenance.
“Communication is key,” said Arlene. “Communication from our Finance Manager to insurance representatives is fundamental. All paperwork is filled in in good time and we try and facilitate a one-day repair with minimal water restrictions. Then, of course, communication to the local emergency services to let them know that we are without water, and to be on standby in case of an emergency. So, we are covered on the insurance aspect, covered by emergency services, and each person at the site is extra vigilant. It goes a long way in making our staff feel safe in their environment.”
RPC Astrapak Group Forming Executive, Craig Matthews, said: “Congratulations and thanks to all staff for the achievement of the accreditation with full compliance – your efforts are really appreciated and your rewards justified. A special note of thanks to Arlene for driving the process so effectively.”