Jack Tighe Ltd was awarded a contract by BPA to scaffold, encapsulate, blast clean and apply protective coatings to the roofs, shells and stairways of tanks 1 and 2 at their North Walsham terminal in early summer 2017.

Following acceptance of our risk assessments and method statement we mobilised our plant and equipment, selected our team of ICATS accredited operatives and SSSTS certified supervisor and attended site in July 2017. BPA provided a site induction which included details regarding site safe working practices, PPE requirements, emergency arrangements and muster points.

Access to the roof of each tank was via tank manway at ground level. The tank roof was held in the lower position by BPA and access/egress onto the roof was via the service hatch. Safe access/egress was installed by fixed scaffold stairway at the service hatch to ensure clear unobstructed access/egress.

The external shells including stairways were fully scaffolded and encapsulated by our approved sub-contractor SGS to ensure containment of spent abrasive, atomised coatings & containment of Lead based coatings to comply with CLAW regulations. Access/egress was via a Haki Stairway fixed at designated areas to access/egress each scaffolding platform.

Company owned equipment utilised on this contract included a decontamination unit, blast pots, diesel bowsers, spray pumps, a waste segregation unit and grit recovery vacuums. Our operatives and supervisor held ICATS blaster and sprayer module accreditations together with Safety Passports. Since the existing coatings contained lead, we followed full Control of Lead at Work Regulations procedures including blood lead level testing, full welfare facility prevision (including decontamination units), fully maintained extraction equipment for the removal of lead contaminated materials, full supply of PPE and RPE and lead in air monitoring.

The works were controlled by one of our NACE / ICORR and IOSH Managing Safely certified contract managers who visited site on a weekly basis. Site visits were also made by one of our Nebosh and ICORR accredited HSQ&E Officers. The former conducted site inspections and the latter carried out formal site audits, results from which were incorporated into our Trend Analysis to improve our H&S performance.

The specification followed System XM92/M20-168:

External Shell, Spiral Stairway & Drip Plate

  • Degrease and clean down to remove all traces of possible residual product, oil, grease or other surface contamination followed by a fungicidal jet wash and allow to dry.
  • Surface chloride test to determine surface chloride is less than 4ug/cm2
  • Mechanically clean to BS7079: Part A1 Standard St3 to inaccessible areas with needle guns
  • Grit blast all areas to BS7079 Part A1 standard Sa2½.
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Jotamastic 90 Aluminium HS Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve Dry Film Thickness of 125μm (156μm WFT).
  • Brush apply stripe coat to welds/difficult areas to spray & irregular surface areas
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Jotamastic 90 Colour Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve DFT of 125μm (156μm WFT).
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Hardtop CA Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve DFT of 50μm (85μm WFT).


External Roof

  • Degrease, jet wash and surface chloride test as per shell specification
  • Mechanically clean to BS7079: Part A1 Standard St3 to inaccessible areas with needle guns
  • Wet grit blast all areas to SSPC-VIC 5 – WBA2.
  • Water wash blasted areas to ensure all wet abrasive has been removed from the substrate before application of coatings.
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Jotamastic 90 Aluminium HS Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve DFT of 125μm (156μm WFT).
  • Brush apply stripe coat to welds/difficult areas to spray & irregular surface areas
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Jotamastic 90 Colour Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve DFT of 125μm (156μm WFT).
  • Apply by Spray an overall coat of Hardtop CA Surface Tolerant Epoxy to achieve DFT of 50μm (85μm WFT).

Galvanised Fire pipe

Specification as for external roof but substitute flash blast for wet grit blast.

During the works the only unforeseen obstacle which hindered progress was caused by the bund, which surrounded the tank, flooding during heavy, persistent rainfall. Due to the proximity of the site to residential areas and a school the bund typically overflowed into the public rainwater sewer system. Since we were conducting blasting operations to remove a lead-based coating it was imperative that this residue did not enter the watercourse. Accordingly, we diverted the overflowing water into iso storage containers to control the level of dispersion and then developed a filter system to remove the contaminants before allowing the overflowing water to access the public sewers in a controlled manner.

The response above is relevant to the environmental footprint of this project and how we were able to mitigate any impact. We also used one of our environmental segregation units on this project whereby all waste is separated into 4 categories on site and then removed by an approved contractor, Safetykleen, for onward recycling and disposal. Blasting operations cause noise and this site is surrounded by residential areas and a school. Our client communicated with local stakeholders and we maintained all noise levels within regulated levels.

We have worked for BPA on several occasions now and both client and contractor work hard to maintain co-operation and build up trust and a good relationship. Our supervisor was in daily contact with his BPA counterparty and our manager held weekly progress meetings with BPA project management. The aim of both parties was, and remains, to work in a collaborative manner.

The North Walsham site is not the easiest. Residential areas and a school have been built nearby over the years since the terminal was created. Consequently, we adopted the BPA practice of strict adherence to delivery schedules and ensured only smaller delivery vehicles were used. We also maintained the smallest possible compound for our equipment to minimise our footprint on a compact site.

The works involved mobilisation and demobilisation twice to enable BPA to carry out various repairs to the tanks and associated works. The contract was completed in July 2018 for a value of circa £348,000 which incorporated the scaffold and encapsulation as well as the blasting and painting. Letters of thanks and a reference were subsequently received from the client.

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