Rohm and Haas, a global leader in specialty materials, has appointed DuPont to provide personal protection expertise for its 70 hectare site in the Alsace, France.
At Rohm and Haas, protecting employees who work on a “Seveso II, high threshold” classified industrial site is a daily priority. Since 1958, Rohm and Haas has been creating, developing and manufacturing additives for plastics, paints and coatings.
The site’s Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator, Jean-Marc Hennard, has a huge responsibility, ensuring every operator is provided with the best protective clothing and accessories. This is particularly critical when working on the pumping station with drums containing acetic acid or at the area for discharging tankers where large quantities of raw materials are delivered to on-site tanks.
Rohm and Haas is scrupulous about protecting employees and instructions are applied to the letter. DuPont was called in to optimise safety and numerous criteria were taken into account and examined: making coveralls available, participating in technical meetings and safety reviews, carrying out risk analyses and on-the-spot studies of workstations, making studies available concerning resistance to permeation by liquids, providing guidance on the choice of suitable equipment and clothing, training and informing safety managers and users.
Protection provided by the Tychem® product range
For coveralls, which are disposed after use, Rohm and Haas chose the product range of coveralls made of Tychem®, which offers effective protection against liquid splashes, and particularly Tychem® F coveralls, which have superior mechanical strength combined with an innovative design. The coveralls, which are stored in a special area, are available in three sizes: L, XL and XXL and their use is coded according to a chart where each level of hazard is rated from 0 to 4.
In the zone dedicated to the pumping of raw materials, each drum is earthed and the protective cover and locking nut are removed. The operator, wearing a Tychem® F coverall, introduces the pump rod inside the drum and the liquid chemical substance is conveyed by suction to a production unit.
Still wearing a Tychem® F coverall, the operator transports the empty drum on a pallet truck from the building to a demarcated area, which features special equipment for complete cleaning using pressurised water. Once the drum has been pumped and cleaned the operator removes the coverall, which is then destroyed.
Another tricky and risky phase is the transfer of chemicals from the tankers to the tanks. The person responsible for the operation, wearing a Tychem® F coverall, connects up the pipe between the tanker and the storage unit.
The maintenance staff who work on the entire Rohm and Haas production unit in Lauterbourg are also equipped with DuPont coveralls made of Tychem® F and comply with the same strict safety regulations.
“The safety team carries out technical studies on protective coveralls on a regular basis. Such protective clothing, in order to be fully accepted by the operators, has to be both comfortable and easy to put on. For safety officials, it also has to meet multiple criteria and ensure optimum protection against different chemicals. The Tychem® range of coveralls meets all the company’s criteria”.
Large-scale polymer production
In Lauterbourg, the biggest site outside the United States, Rohm and Haas manufactures a range of processing agents and shock-resistance modifiers to enhance the performance of PVC and other plastics, mainly used in the packaging, automotive, building and construction materials sectors. Emulsion-based polymers principally used in varnishes, decorative paints, digital imaging and the production of leather, paper and woven and non-woven textiles are also produced on this site.