Farm Guide VIC : 2010 - 2011
67 Farm Safety Safe & Cost Effective Panel for the Industry Industry Supply Chain Change The agriculture industry in Victoria is quite diverse, ranging from small establishments engaged in dairying or horticulture to large properties devoted to sheep, cattle or cereal production. This industry, like most others, is dynamic leading and responding to local conditions, market forces and developing customer requirements. The industry supply chain has certainly evolved over the years with "for ward, backwa rd, vertical, horizontal (and any other possible directional!) integration. Most farmers now engage the breadth of supply chain activities:- farming to logistics, processing, distribution, wholesale and or retail. This level of engagement requires wide-ranging value add activities and facilities that fully support the investment of scarce resources across this supply chain. Right Choice of Building Product The investment in a range of facilities: animal housing enclosures (chicken sheds, piggeries), food storage ( feedstock stores, warehouse), and processing facilities (wineries, dairies, cheese processing, abattoirs) incorporates a substantial quantity of insulated panels as the essential building product for this investment. The 2009-10 edition included an article outlining the range of the insulated panel system choices and the particular applications buyers should consider when building their facilities. The insulated panels have a va riety of options that combine to offer cost effective, environmental benefits and also architectural appeal: • Insulated Panel Core: EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), Mineral Wool, PIR (Polyisocyanurate), Xf lam (Phenolic) • Steel: normal options include .04 to .06 thickness • Colours: traditional Bluescope colours and the imported impressive printed colour and patterns Safety The EPS industry is represented by Expanded Polystyrene Australia Inc ( EPSA). This industry body has been working on a range of initiatives to improve and broaden the application of EPS in Australia. The EPS Panel Manufacturers Group (EPS PMG), a member of EPSA, recently established a Task-Team to address growing concer ns about the safety of insulated panel systems installed, in particular the EPS panels. The task team investigated a wide ra nge of issues such as design and layout, quality of products and installation work, perceptions, product knowledge and installation methods used in erecting facilities. The task team consulted with key players including fire agencies, who voiced concerns of Fire Fighters in relation to the performance of EPS panels in a fire. The task team consisted of representatives of major panel manufacturers, installers, fire experts, consulta nts and engaged members of NSW fire brigades in this process. In May this year, the task team presented a proposed solution to the above mentioned issues in the form of a Code of Practice (COP). It is central to safety and investment value that the COP will stipulate important guidelines of principles and standards for the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and risk management of structures built with EPS Fire Retardant Panel (EPS FRP). The EPS PMG accepted this proposal as applying throughout the industry. The COP is to be officially introduced in the last quarter of 2010. The COP has been developed through consultation with industry leaders, external fire experts and members from the NSW Emergency Ser vices. The key intent of the COP is two fold: 1: To increase firefighters confidence when undertaking their operational roles in addressing a range of fire emergencies in buildings. 2: Improve overall standards of EPS Pa nel System application to improve long-term ter m value of investment.
2009 - 2010