If you regularly store fuel on your commercial or industrial work site, it is important to know how to do this safely. Without the right protocols, you run the risk of explosions, fires and many other problems. There’s also the question of making sure that your facility remains industry compliant. Following is everything that your organisation ought to know about safe fuel storage on a building site.
All building owners or tenants who store fuel onsite should invest time in finding the right containment units. This remains true irrespective of the amount of fuel that’s being stored. Even a very nominal quantity of a volatile, flammable or explosive liquid can cause serious problems if it’s placed in insufficient store. It is additionally important to choose the correct type of containment unit for the type of fuel intended.
Different containment units are made from different materials to accommodate the nature of the substance inside. Red fuel or fuel that is made for tractors and other small-sized farm equipment belongs in different barrels or other vessels than is required for the store of traditional petroleum or diesel fuels.
Many of the best containers have secondary containment systems in case the first system fails. In some areas and industries, these special precautions are legally required. With these units, spilled or leaking substances remain properly contained in an outer well, shell or barrel to prevent these from encroaching upon other work areas and greatly increase slip and fall hazards, fire hazards, and explosion risks.
These containment units should be a suitably far distance away from heat and light as well. Beyond finding the right vessels or containers, you will also have to strategically choose the locations so that sparks and overheating are not an issue. When heating and high-heat lighting equipment are required for the work environment, these things should be stored in separate facilities or in areas that are unlikely to have an impact on one another.
Fumes are another key consideration. Excessive fumes can cause as much risk of explosion as can open or ill-contained fuels. As such, this is a key factor to look for when selecting vessels for store. It is additionally important to ensure the control of potentially noxious fumes for the sake of promoting an acceptable indoor air quality. This is especially true in instances in which the storage area is not open or otherwise properly ventilated.
All employees on site should be given proper training for the handling and safe store of these materials. This is true irrespective of whether these individuals are using them. Moreover, all businesses should have an emergency plan for mitigating or preventing fires and explosions should these ever occur. This should be both a separate and standalone plan for mitigating the potential hazards of fuel storage, and it should also be a well-outlined part in the overall facility emergency plan.
There are certain industry-specific issues that can have an impact on determining the best methods of storage. For instance, some industries require the use of high-power equipment indoors or at least relatively near the fuel storage area. Special precautions will need to be taken whenever there are multiple factors and dynamics that might impact the safety of both workers on location and all others within the immediate vicinity.