How to Make Safe Storage Tank Repairs in Colorado

September 11, 2019 5:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Tank repair can be a dangerous job, even if you do take the proper safety precautions. However, a lack of safety makes matters even worse. According to information put out by the Chemical Safety Board, there have been more than 60 fatalities since 1990 as a result of explosions and fires caused by maintenance and hot work repairs on aboveground storage tanks. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also notes there have been more than 160 fatalities since 1982 associated with entry to confined spaces, which is often a big part of storage tank repairs.

With this in mind, it is important to carefully plan out the project and make sure you’re taking all proper safety precautions before you begin any repair work on your storage tanks. Here are just a few issues to take into consideration when making storage tank repairs in Colorado:

  • Tank contents: What’s being stored in the tank will play a big role in the safety precautions you need to undertake when making tank repairs. Make sure you’re fully aware of all of the hazards and risks associated with any chemicals stored in the tank you’re working on. Without this knowledge, you can’t properly prepare for the job.
  • Tank surroundings: What’s around the tank? Are there additional hazards you’re going to have to deal with just to be able to start work on the tank? Is there proper ventilation in the area? Any time you’re working in a storage tank or a similar confined space, it’s crucial for you to make sure you have enough air ventilation. There should be at least five air changes per hour in the area, according to the standards set by the American Petroleum Institute.
  • Tank isolation: Has the tank been properly isolated? Just locking and tagging out a valve might not be enough—you also need to check to see if the tank needs to be physically isolated before you continue. If physical isolation is needed, you shouldn’t make any repairs until that process has been completed.
  • Tank integrity: Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into with regard to the integrity of the tank. Are there any holes anywhere in the tank? How stable is the roof? This will give you some idea as to the additional types of safety precautions you need to implement for the repair job.
  • Tank paint: Is there lead in the existing paint on the tank? Lead exposure is an occupational hazard in the tank coating industry, so if you’re unsure about the kind of paint you’re working with, it’s a good idea to conduct a lab analysis before you start performing any real in-depth work. Any detectable amount of lead will result in you needing to follow OSHA’s lead guidelines.
  • Emergency services: There should be rescue services on hand just in case an emergency situation arises. It’s better to be prepared and not need those services than to need them and not have them.

For more information about safety measures to take when performing storage tank repairs in Colorado, contact DJC Enterprises Inc. today.

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