At Shoreham Port we have started exporting woodchip from our bulk terminal next to the grain silos. The woodchip is recycled from the construction and forestry industries in the south east. The operation includes shredding wood, if it is not already chipped, and loading it onto vessels for shipping to Scandinavia to be used in the newly built, super efficient power stations.
All recycled wood & chipboard received by Shoreham Port has a Waste Consignment Notice, which means we have details of the type of wood and chipboard being received and where it has come from.
We have had a few complaints from local firms and residents about the amount of dust since the operation started. We take complaints seriously and are taking steps to improve the operation all the time. It has not helped having the exceptionally dry weather just as we started the operation. All our staff involved in handling the wood are aware of the potential dust problem and are working to keep it to a minimum. We have also installed a water dust suppression system which is now working efficiently and keeping the dust suppressed. It activates every 30 minutes, running for approximately 5 minutes each interval.
In addition to the control systems we have also commissioned independent Occupational Hygiene surveys (Air Borne Dust Monitoring). These surveys enable us to ensure that we are giving our staff the correct level of personal protective equipment and that we are working within the correct Working Exposure Limit guidelines as laid down by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The Independent dust monitoring does not stop within the confines of the Port. This has been carried out at business premises in Wellington Road and at locations in St Peters Road Portslade, and the latest results show that the dust found at these sites did not have particles from the woodchip operation.
Paul Johnson, Safety and HR Director commented “although we are confident that our operation is being run efficiently and safely we will continue to monitor and liaise with local businesses and residents. In addition to this we have been working closely with the Environment Agency, HSE and local authorities all of whom are generally satisfied we are handling the cargo in a proper manner. If you wish to come and see how we carry out the operation or would like to talk more about it please do contact us.”