The Port of Tyne operates as a self-governing trust and makes use of the deep water access and quayside frontage synonymous to carry out a number of logistical operations. The facilities allow numerous conventional and bulk cargo transfers associated with industry across the northeast region and further afield.
The coal transfer plant is just one area of activity that involves quayside loading / unloading plant – and fixed conveyor transfer systems particularly. A number of ship-borne coal consignments arrive at the Riverside Quay terminal each year to be unloaded. Mechanised transfer equipment, including dedicated hoppers and conveyors, transport imported coal to a large stocking ground.
Coal handling operations will invariably generate dust particles – and especially at hopper / conveyor discharge points. The coal dust is largely contained within transfer stations but there is an inherent flammable hazard associated with this material and it may form explosive mixtures in air without appropriate controls.
These operations were the key focus areas for MESH when carrying out the DSEAR assessment for the Port of Tyne.