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Training and Rescue: Tank Cleaning

Matt Luman February 6, 2018 0
Training and Rescue: Tank Cleaning

Depending on tank contents, tank cleaning procedures vary. Tank cleaning of petrochemicals, chemicals and hazardous materials require more strenuous and focused training to avoid worker injury or death.

Thus, a tank cleaning operation should be performed only by trained workers with in depth knowledge of tank safety and emergency procedures, as well as proper tank cleaning and use of cleaning equipment.

Most tanks fall under OSHA Confined Space compliance regulations for safe entry and exit. However, trained workers should also be fully informed of procedures for tank interior and exterior inspection, as well as internal and external soil, foundation, piping and tank connections.

In addition to caution with regard to potential for hazardous residue remaining from a tank cleaning process, trained workers should also know specifications for handling and disposing of hazardous materials. This includes safety gear and apparel, respirator use and protection, lockout/tagout, fire safety and protection for slips and falls.

Rescue Training – Tank Cleaning


Even when all tank cleaning procedures are followed precisely, accidents happen inside a confined space during tank cleaning. Click To Tweet
Even when all tank cleaning procedures are followed precisely, accidents happen inside a confined space during tank cleaning. The size, volume of tank contents and type of cleaning procedure all affect how to minimize dangers of working in enclosed tank spaces.

Workers need to know how to immediately identify the type of injury to an injured team member and also how to transport them to safety and/or medical assistance. The steps to reliable rescue are provided in training courses on a state by state basis at https://www.360training.com/environmental-health-safety/workforce-compliance.

The Importance of Rescue Training for Employers and Workers

Workers and employers who require Illinois UST Operator training can apply online and click on their state menu for specific training programs. Environmental compliance and OSHA provide optimal workplace safety for employees.

Workers become more knowledgeable in proper tank cleaning procedures and also train for effective, expedient rescue, should it become necessary. Under a Safety Management System training course, employers assess safety in the workplace, reduce worker accidents and injuries and reduce overall risks associated with tank cleaning and maintenance. 

How to Choose an Innovative Safety Management System

An innovative safety management system should be developed as part of workplace policies. Workers who take part in training programs should receive regular refresher training to update their knowledge of tank cleaning safety compliance regulations.

Documentation of worker training is essential to track the types of training each employee received, how frequently training was provided and overall results of each worker’s training course of study.

In addition to protecting workers from toxic vapors inside a tank during cleaning, employers are also responsible to provide:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Sludge and residue removal instructions from outside the tank
  • Federal, state and municipal permit requirements
  • Cleaning instructions from inside tanks

OSHA compliance regulations also require that:

“Entry supervisors must determine, administer and implement safe work procedures and appropriate safe limits for employee’s exposure to hydrocarbon vapors and gases and toxic gases, and required oxygen concentrations both when working outside of tanks and when entering and working in tanks during tank cleaning operations, in accordance with applicable regulations and facility confined space entry requirements.”

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