More than 4,000 employees at the Corus steel company in IJmuiden (NL) will be kitted out in new jackets based on TenCate Tecasafe® during their work. This is the result of a successful wearer trial of this inherently fire-resistant material. For Corus it is ‘an extremely suitable jacket to work in’, and for TenCate, another excellent reference.
Piet Beers is Head of Safety, KAM Manager and asbestos expert, working for the Logistics & Transport unit of Corus Strip Products, IJmuiden. He thus acts as the point of contact for personal protective resources within Corus. He is certainly not lacking in experience: he first set foot here in 1971. It was his task to look out for a replacement for the jackets that were then being worn by his colleagues in Production and Technical Service.
Figuring on his wish list are anti-static and fire-resistant characteristics, protection against cold, rain and heat, and resistance to chemical spatters. At Shell he had once seen a protective jacket which he felt ‘just about had it all. That’s what we need for our Technical Service’, was his first thought. They have to go through wind and weather and inside Corus they can turn up anywhere: at the ore stack, the power shovels, the blast furnaces, casting rollers and the rolling mill, for example. And in all these places there are exceptional risks.
Contacts with the Shell safety expert, where it is compulsory to wear the jacket made of TenCate Tecasafe fabric, led to a wearer trial by personnel at Corus in IJmuiden. Their findings were crystal clear: the jacket proved to be extremely comfortable and not liable to tear. It does not continue burning when exposed to welding or grinding spatters, is breathable and extremely suitable to work in.
The ‘winter fleece’ that was used as a lining in the old jacket was no long necessary. The TenCate Tecasafe fabric jacket is thinner and lighter, but inherently warmer. One the one hand, however, it is, slightly more expensive compared to the existing one. On the other, with normal use it has a lifespan that is three times as long. The positive recommendation by Piet Beers was taken on board by ‘the highest echelons’.
The jackets, made by clothes manufacturer Sioen in Belgium, were supplied by VandePutte Safety in Oosterhout. Each jacket uses 2 m² of TenCate Tecasafe fabric. The jacket was specifically developed in accordance with the requirments of Corus. There is a special pouch for a CO2 metre and walkie-talkie. And the Corus logo is printed on both the back and front of the orange-green jacket. In view of all the requirements which the fabric has to comply with and the arrival of new materials, contact between Piet Beers and Karin Klein Hesselink (End-use Market Manager, Industrial Safety at TenCate Protective Fabrics) is very important. As end-user he receives any necessary information and knowledge immediately.
Corus Steel IJmuiden
The premises of Corus Steel in IJmuiden are located on land within the boundaries of the town of Heemskerk, Beverwijk and Velsen. The group is a large landowner. Buildings, grounds, green zones and infrastructure together cover almost 30 square miles – the same area as the town of Bussum. That’s more than 1200 football pitches put together. Here there are approximately 9,500 employees working and 100 km of railway lines. Some seven million tons of steel are produced annually, and there are plans to increase that to eight million. The steel is used mainly in the automobile, construction and packaging industries. The Logistics & Transport Department ensures that the finished product is delivered just in time to the customer. Delivery is by sea, by inland boats and by train, and each week by between 1700 and 2000 trucks, 1500 of which are organized by the steel giant itself.
Piet Beers in the new clothing on location
Piet Beers and Karin Klein Hesselink