Five Tank Cleaning Tips for Efficiency and Safety

December 9, 2019 7:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Few things are less fun than cleaning storage tanks. Add the possibility of fire, toxic gas, radiation exposure or oxygen shortages, and you have a chore that is not only immense, but that can become downright dangerous. Fortunately, there are precautions that can reduce danger and help you secure clean tanks without incident. Here are five tank cleaning tips in Colorado to help your operation:

  • Plan accordingly: Timing is vital with tank cleaning. Undertake this task after planning sessions so there is knowledge of the risks and steps. There is a chance that the chore is too immense and must be contracted out, or you may need to secure permits. Also, one year after a thorough safety meeting is not the time to clean tanks. Plan to clean them as soon after a safety meeting as possible so workers are more likely to take precautions.
  • Use protective gear: Other planning includes knowing what protective gear is necessary to tackle the task. You also need to ensure that you have enough of it, and that what you have in stock fits your workers. If not, you need time to upgrade the gear. Otherwise, you risk injuring workers and possibly incurring fines for OSHA violations. Protective gear makes the difference between routine tasks and complete disasters. Do not skip it, even if you wish to finish this task quickly.
  • Check for other safety equipment: Besides protective clothing, workers also require calibrated gas and oxygen detectors and safety harnesses. You will also need to check that your first aid kit is fully stocked and other equipment works properly. Many of these issues are covered in safety meetings, which is another reason to schedule tank cleaning as close to those meetings as possible. You are less likely to need an additional inventory and testing session if that was already included in a recent safety meeting.
  • Use checklists: There are safety procedures before you clean that must be completed before anyone enters the tank. Covering manholes and shutting off valves must occur before anyone starts cleaning the tank. The best way to do this is by having thorough written checklists that are later signed off on by the plant manager. Train personnel to use the checklists and avoid shortcuts.
  • Hire the right personnel: If you perform your tank cleanings in-house, ensure your personnel are well-trained for the task. This is not an entry-level job, and inexperience can lead to injury. Pair less-experienced workers with experienced ones if someone requires additional training. Do not assign this task to any workers with health conditions that increase the danger associated with tank cleaning. This is a job only for those who know what they are doing—if it is over your head or those of your workers, consider contracting out for tank cleaning.

If you require tank maintenance and tank cleaning in Colorado, DJC Enterprises Inc. is here to help. Contact us today to see what we can do for your storage tanks. We also offer painting and sandblasting service for your tank exteriors.

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