On Tuesday the 16th May, the year 11 VCAL class went to the Bass Gas plant in Lang Lang to learn about their OH&S procedures and to have a tour of the plant. When we arrived, we had to hand over our mobile phones as these could act as an ignition point and cause an explosion. Other items that could act as ignition sources were central locking keys and cameras with a flash. We also had to wear clothing with a high cotton content as anything synthetic can spark due to static electricity. We all had to sign into the plant and were assigned a visitors card, which has to be swiped every time we entered or exited an area in the plant. This was so in an emergency they could quickly account for where people should be and who is on site. We completed an induction, which consisted of watching a film and completing a quiz. After we had learnt about safety in the gas industry, we were ready to tour the plant. Before we could go out of the offices, we had to be kitted up in a high vis vest, safety glasses, hard hat and we had to carry gloves and earplugs.
We got to have a look in the control room, which is manned by 3 people and they can remotely control the plant, including the offshore facility in bass strait. From the control room, they can turn off the gas and send the excess gas up to a flare to be burnt off if there was an emergency on site.
We were shown the firefighting equipment, which had 2, six cylinder Caterpillar engines and tanks bug enough to fight fire for hours. Luckily, they have never had to test out this equipment. There is also a grassland at the bottom of the plant is planted with special grasses and plants, which help to maintain the site. In the summer time, staff are not allowed in this area alone, due to the risk of snakebite. We also learnt about how they check and maintain the pipeline and how long it would take to fix if there was a fault.
Overall, the tour was really interesting and it was great to see how safety is taken so seriously at the site.