Safety is emphasised in industrial outages

Autumn is a time of annual outages at Yara’s Siilinjärvi factory. Annual maintenance will bring about 200–300 external employees from several different contracting partners to the factory area this year.
“Covid has brought additional challenges and new safety practices to this year’s maintenance work, for which Kataja Event’s tents have been an excellent solution,” says Olli Eskelinen Head of Building Maintenance at Yara Suomi Oy.

Telinekataja Yara Siilijärvi

During the annual maintenance of Yara’s Siilinjärvi factory, contractors ate their meals in a staggered manner, in a tent for 80 people. In the pre-decorated dining tent, limiting the number of tables ensured that safety distances were achieved.

The main products of the Siilinjärvi factories are fertilisers and phosphoric acid. In addition to the production plant, Siilinjärvi is home to the only phosphate mine in Western Europe, which is the source of the pure phosphorus in Yara Finland's fertilisers. The Siilinjärvi open pit mine is Finland’s largest, and its phosphorus, which is extracted from apatite ore, is further processed into fertiliser.

“During annual maintenance, every work phase is important so that the work goes according to plan, safely and efficiently. In the autumn, sulphuric acid and energy production stands still at the Siilinjärvi site, then the phosphoric acid plant. At the end of these outages, the partners, including scaffolding installers, will move to the mine outage,” says Olli Eskelinen.

Safety distances in order for 80-person tent dining

Six weeks and 200-300 external workers in the same factory area as their own employees. How will the success of the maintenance standstill and the safety of employees be ensured in Siilinjärvi during the coronavirus epidemic?

“The implementation of the safety distances has required temporary solutions. We are using Kataja Event’s tents as a dining area for the contractors, for example. By limiting the number of tables in the pre-decorated dining tent, we have ensured, among other things, that safety distances are fully realised. Meals are staggered and the number of people in all social spaces is monitored, both inside and outside.

“At the moment, we operate in such a way that our own staff dines in the canteen building and the contractors in a tent for about 80 people. In addition, we have instructed that respirators should be used in situations where work is performed for longer than 15 minutes, and where there are other team members at a distance of less than one metre,” Says Olli Eskelinen.

Temporary structures as a complete package – just like the scaffolding solutions

Telinekataja and Yara aim to ensure that the scaffolding installers involved in annual maintenance have worked at the factory before. Work permit and safety practices are in order and basic matters do not need to be reviewed with the installers.

“The design, installation and demolition of temporary structures, such as tents, can also be done with the familiar certainty of Telinekataja, with their years of experience and as a complete package – just like the scaffolding solutions,” Eskelinen sums up.

Scaffolding is needed daily for various maintenance work at the Siilinjärvi factory. Telinekataja has a constant workforce presence in Siilinjärvi: 10 to 30 people every day.

“We have been cooperating with Telinekataja for almost eight years. During that time, the content of the agreement has been refined into a well-serving entity. The content is reviewed together with the supplier in biannual follow-up meetings, in which, among other things, the technical aspects of the contract are discussed, and the supplier’s work performance is assessed.

Yara has signed a contract with Telinekataja for three years at a time. During that time, both parties have plenty of time to develop their operations so that both parties can get the best out of their cooperation, making everyday life easier for both parties.

“We know each other’s operating methods and personnel. Thanks to long-term cooperation, Telinekataja has come to know the special requirements of our operating environment. For example, they have become familiar with the location numbering of our factory: scaffolding management often knows where we want scaffolding to be erected with the help of a device number, alone. In annual maintenance outages, similar scaffolding structures are often repeated in the interior repairs of the equipment, says Olli Eskelinen.

Read more about scaffolding and weather protection solutions related to industrial maintenance »