You can’t get too far in your daily life without some sort of contact with a fuel operated vehicle, whether at home, or at work they are everywhere. While handling fuel at home requires care and safety for proper storage, dealing with fuel while at work not only requires safe procedures it also requires specific adherence to federal and state guidelines especially with regards to how it is being stored.
On a small scale you might have 2-5-gallon portable fuel containers that you may frequently use. While on the large scale we may be looking at something as big as a multi thousand-gallon storage vessel. These bulk storage containers can typically be seen in a variety of sizes and placements usually above ground and thereby know as Above ground Storage Tanks (or AST’s) but can also be found underground whichever the type all should meet minimum requirements to ensure not only the safety of worker but of the environments in which they are found as fuel is considered a hazardous material.
Among the most basic of requirements is the proper signage, meaning not only should it state specifics like “Flammable/Combustible, NO SMOKING, or OPEN FLAME within 25 feet” they must also be legible and may be required to be placed on all sides of the vessel depending on type and size. If you are storing smaller portable containers first it is important to note that these containers must be approved for fuel storage (California Title 8 1930) and cannot be in excess of 5 gallons. If you are keeping multiple containers and exceed 25 gallons, they would need to be stored in an OSHA approved Storage Cabinet and MUST include yup you guessed it signs that clearly identify the contents as FLAMMABLE KEEP FIRE AWAY, and NO SMOKING, they also must have self-closing doors and should be locked when not in use.
Other requirements include labeling each fuel type as to whether it is flammable or combustible (and yes there is a difference in relation to boiling points and flash points that however will be for a future blog) regular documented inspections of the integrity of the fuel storage vessel or container, fueling hoses, nozzles, and probably the biggest environmental risk, leaks and corrosion of vessels. You may also be required to register with local regulating authorities if storing large quantities or are in an environmentally sensitive area.
Although primary Federal regulations can be found under CFR 40 112 there are additional resources especially if you conduct business in California these include APSA (California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act) documents, California Health and Safety Code HSC 6.67>25270.2 among others. Other resources include 29 CFR 1926.152, 29 CFR 1926.155 and the EPA website. Improper storing of fuels may not only lead to messy situations at the jobsite it can also lead to messy situations with regulating agencies by means of hefty fines for violations you may also be required to undergo expensive cleanup efforts to eliminate the hazards introduced into the environment.
Read more Aboveground Storage Tanks on EPA Website - https://www.epa.gov/ust/aboveground-storage-tanks
For more information on this or any general safety question or concern please feel free to contact us at CSTC. Our team of knowledgeable instructors and inspectors are available to assist you.
As always folks have a great and safe day.