Western Fumigation – A Focus on Safety - Western Fumigation
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Western Fumigation – A Focus on Safety

Western Fumigation has been performing fumigation services up and down the East Coast for decades now. People don’t usually realize what that means and how important those services are. Fumigation is a highly regulated industry and can be dangerous when done by the wrong company or person. Doing it safely is priority one at Western Fumigation. That means being ready for anything.

The Western Fumigation team preparing for an emergency on the Gloucester City port.

Recently, Western Fumigation conducted its TCPA emergency drill successfully. The TCPA plan that Western Fumigation manages is an environmental requirement to ensure the hazardous materials used at the pier facility located in Gloucester City, NJ are handled properly, and all safety checks are in place to prevent incidents. This year, they conducted the requirements drill with their partners Holt Logistics Security, the Gloucester City Fire Department, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The drill replicated an incident where a power outage occurs during the aeration process in the pier shed warehouse space. The team worked through a communications process with security, the USDA, and internally. They then identified responders to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus and reset power to a stationary emergency generator on site to re-power the turbine fans that were being used to aerate through a stack. It was an important practice that ensures safety even in the most strenuous of times.

In addition, Western Fumigation came to the call to ensure import operations continue in spite of facility challenges. Western Fumigation has a series of 12 large custom-built drop gantries (a bridge-like overhead structure with a platform supporting equipment), under patent ownership that can each hold over 600 pallets of fresh fruit imported from Latin America. These gantries lower gigantic tarps over thousands of pallets of fruit every night so that fumigation operations can occur quickly, and the USDA can clear the fruit for entry into the US within a day of coming off of a ship. On a Thursday to Friday overnight operation in February, one of the largest gantries had a cable that gave out, leaving that gantry unusable. Early Friday morning, Senior Technician Mike Wittorf, Supervisor John Westergard, Service Manager Bob Verrico, and Director Shannon Sked were on the pier in lifts resetting the cable – a procedure that proved super imporant. The gantry was fixed in a few hours – and thankfully as an unsuspected 3 concurrent ships were being offloaded for nightly fumigations over the entire weekend… all deliveries were fumigated without a hitch!

The team at Western Fumigation fixing a gantry that had gone wrong.

Many don’t realize that Western Fumigation is protecting domestic agriculture and ensuring nutritious food is on the table for American families all while making sure they are prepared for any emergency – not just power outages and broken gantries! Both are equally important to the health and safety of American citizens. In addition, in partnerships with the USDA, Holt Logistics, and the product manufacturer, Draslovka Services, Western Fumigation is helping to develop a new fumigant, eFume™ – a promising, sustainable alternative to current fumigation treatments, They are answering the call for more environmentally safe products and less chemicals to use while still being effective at eliminating the pests that can threaten the food supply chain.

Safety and their people – that’s what Western Fumigation is all about. It may sound simple but clearly, it’s much larger than it sounds.

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