During a recent Water Operators Industry Association conference, Hydro Innovations, authorised Australian Distributors for Gorman-Rupp pumps, surveyed teams of operators from 17 water authorities, councils and businesses.
Operators were asked whether Gorman-Rupp self-primers offered any OH&S benefits over using submersible pumps at wastewater pumping stations.
The results where overwhelming. All 17 groups came back with between 16 and 27 tangible OH&S benefits that using Gorman-Rupp pumps could offer.
Gorman-Rupp self-priming pumps offer many safety benefits.
Because Gorman-Rupp self-priming pumps are mounted on the surface (compared with submersibles being located in a 6-7m deep pit), operators pointed to the elimination of falling risks and risks associated with working over water. They also noted that confined spaces risks and the associated paperwork and equipment were also eliminated.
Repairing, maintaining and monitoring Gorman-Rupp pumps is done at ground level and without cranes.
Operators contrasted this to repairs on submersible pumps, which required lifting devices and sometimes cranes. This they said introduced the dangers of dealing with overhead power lines, heavy swinging weights and vehicle hazards.
Operators found Gorman-Rupp pumps choked less and were easy to access and service, using fewer personnel and less time spent on the job. This meant a greatly reduced
risk of injury from the work and from contamination such as “sharps.”
Valves of Gorman-Rupp pump stations are also located at “ground level”, and usually at around waist height compared to submersible valves, which are located in a shallow below ground pit. Operators said that this reduced slipping and falling risks and risks associated with bending.
Also, unlike above ground stations, below ground vaults were sometimes home to snakes, spiders and mosquitoes because of their damp nature.
Operators said that pinching hazards were also greatly minimised by waist height valves.
Many water authorities, councils, general industry, and engineers are already using or are reviewing the use of Gorman-Rupp self-priming pumps to improve safety, lower operating costs and improve reliability.
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