Any time you have a fuel storage tank on site, you are responsible for its maintenance, safety and compliance with all laws and regulation. When you dispense any fuel, for example, you are obligated to ensure the tank is not contaminated in any way and is free of water. As you deal with your fuel storage tanks, remember to keep the following concerns in mind.
Structural testing is required
To ensure your fuel tank is safe, it will need to be regularly tested by professionals for structural integrity. These inspections are a combination of visual and field tests, which will help ensure the tank is sound and not leaking or potentially contaminated, both of which can pose safety issues and result in lost fuel.
Keep in mind that Canada also has several regulations to follow, and all tanks must have cathodic or corrosion protection, spill containment and sumps (as applicable), vapour and liquid-tight connections and overfill protection. Tanks that are above ground have to have secondary containment in place, while all underground tanks must be double-walled.
Some provinces have their own regulations above what Canada has in place. In some territories and provinces, for example, safe petroleum tank removal or withdrawal from service can only be done by a person with the proper certification or license. In other territories or provinces, the work has to be supervised by a professional engineer.
Keep the relevant records
In Canada, you need have records regarding tank safety and maintenance, which can vary by tank type. All systems are required to have an emergency plan, for example, and any systems put in after June 12, 2008, have to have records that relate to the installation and as-built drawings.
Have annual review and training
As an owner or foreman of a facility with a fuel tank, it’s vital you hold annual reviews on fuel cleanup and tank safety procedures. All on-site staff should be required to attend these reviews, and each staff member involved in any way with the tanks should have the ability to dispense, clean and contain fuel each year.
If your staff hasn’t already been trained on tank safety measures, now is the time to start. You can bring in an outside professional petroleum service provider to train your staff as needed. All employees should know how to turn a tank on and off and also how to inspect it. If there is a spill, all employees must know how to safely contain it and how to clean it up properly.
Failure to tackle all issues related to tank safety–from employee skills and knowledge to all-government-level regulation adherence–can very well put your company in the legal, public arena and regulatory crosshairs. To ensure your tank safety concerns are all addressed, contact a professional fuel and tank company for assistance today.