Isopa: New guidelines for the safe loading and unloading of TDI and MDI in bulk
Isopa, the European diisocyanates and polyol producers association, has for many years published guidelines for the safe loading/unloading, transportation and storage of TDI and MDI in bulk. The guidelines are part of Isopa and the polyurethane industry’s broader product stewardship efforts to ensure the safe handling and use of diisocyanates.
The association has been working on the fourth version of the guidelines over the past year and the main provisions of the new version were presented to the flexible PU foam industry at the annual conference of Europur and Euro-Moulders on 12 and 13 June 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The official new version of the guidelines is now available at www.isopa.org/media/3344/final-isopa_bulk_guidelines-2019.pdf. The main changes compared to the previous version (dated 2011) are mentioned on page 3. The document was this time drafted in consultation with trade associations of downstream users of diisocyanates, including Europur and Euro-Moulders. Their Plant and Workers Issues working group has several times met and discussed draft versions with the Logistics working group of Isopa to relay the views of foam producers.
Flexible PU foam producers are now kindly invited to consider the new version of the guidelines, communicate it to their staff, implement its provisions and where relevant update internal documents. On unloading, the guidelines do not introduce major practical changes but reinforce the “4 eyes” principle under which the unloading of TDI and MDI is an operation that takes place under the general responsibility of the foam plant, at all times in close cooperation between the foam plant operator and the driver. Generally, the driver is responsible for operating and making connections to the truck and the foam plant operator is responsible for connections to the plant. But this has to happen in good intelligence, under the general direction of the foam plant operator and with both checking each other's actions for maximum safety.
Isopa said it will soon provide versions in German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Hungarian languages. Additionally, as part of its campaign the association will also launch a flyer to guide drivers/operators in their day-to-day unloading operation. The Isopa Secretary General, Jörg Palmersheim, stated “Isopa’s commitment to product stewardship cannot be overstated. We will continue to work across the value chain to ensure our high standards are upheld long into the future”.