Flammable Liquids on Underground Tanks

Posted On: February 5, 2018

Underground Tanks

Underground tanks store a variety of contents within tank walls. The most important issue is to know the specifics of the contents. A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or original certificate of analysis (COA) provides a wealth of information specific to underground tank contents.

When underground tank contents are flammable, safety compliance regulations are covered over a wider range of agencies such as the EPA, state agency in which the tank is located, OSHA and Dept. of Homeland Security. Facility operators must document several things with regard to underground tanks with flammable contents. These include:

  • Dimensions of the underground tank
  • Dimensions of the underground tank with respect to property lines, other tanks and buildings in proximity
  • Depth below ground
  • Location and sizes of valves and piping
  • Type of covering over the underground tank such as asphalt, concrete or earth and the thickness of these coverings
  • Supports such as straps, saddle and other materials "used to secure, anchor or support the tanks

Following Regulatory Compliance for Flammable Liquids on Underground Tanks

Clearly, the job of a facility manager where there are flammable liquids on underground tanks is comprised of numerous complex issues. In addition to following OSHA worker protection compliance, a facility manager must also implement environmental compliance as provided by the EPA and state agencies.

The third rung of compliance is security under Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) compliance. In addition to protecting workers and the environment, management must ensure they have designed, developed and implemented a plan for securing the underground tank containing flammable liquids from potential terrorist attacks. OSHA provides complete data on compliance for safety.

The nature of flammable liquids, in addition to being highly ignitable under extreme changes in temperatures, is also corrosive. For underground tank operators, this requires constant vigilance of the tank interior and exterior for signs of deterioration.

Fire and contamination are major safety concerns. Workers and management need to be fully trained for all emergencies and safety precautions related to flammable liquids on underground tanks. For example, certain flammable liquids emit vapors that must be controlled or vented were possible to avoid a fire hazard.

Underground tanks that store petrochemicals are one example of a flammable liquid that emits vapors. Workers and management need to know how to inspect and maintain emission containment equipment so vapors from flammable liquids do not collect in the atmosphere.

Protect Workers and the Environment

All workers required to inspect and maintain underground storage tanks containing flammable liquids should complete an UST Operator Training Class A and B course. From gas station attendants to workers in petrochemical and manufacturing plants where flammable liquids are stored in underground tanks, in order to ensure workplace safety, training is essential.

Trained operators know immediate response to a workplace emergency and are trained to implement federal, state and DHS compliance. Enroll in 360 Training.com underground storage tank training to learn how to manage emergencies, maintain safety in the workplace and create knowledgeable workers through comprehensive training programs. For more details or to enroll today, click here!

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