Working Around Oil Tanks and Safety

A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani
A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

CALGARY – ENERGY – Working around oil tanks is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Most oil tank experts agree that it is a risky job and you need to pay special attention to safety rules and regulations to make sure there are no mishaps.

Have a look at the internet and you will find that several oil tanks related accidents are reported every year, resulting in not just a loss of money but also a loss of lives. This is why it is very important to be careful and pay special attention to safety rules.

The truth is that accidents are bound to happen in this field of work. Your best bet is to be prepared for such accidents to minimize the damage.

Here are a few tips to ensure safety while working around oil tanks:

Make Personal Equipment Kit Your Friend

It is believed that a large number of oil tank workers neglect wearing safety gear when they climb down a tank. Your safety gear is your companion when you step down a tank.  Your safety gear also includes a PPE helmet.

Most workers argue that it’s very hot inside of a tank, making it difficult to wear a helmet. However, remember that your safety is more important than your comfort.

Take Important Equipments With You

Besides your safety gear, you should also carry other equipment that you may need while working. This would remove the need to travel unnecessarily, reducing the chances of facing an injury. These items include rugs, water bottles etc.

The number of people going inside a tank should be minimum, however, there must be one or two people always available at the entrance to fetch the workers what they need.

Keep one goal in mind and that is to finish the job as soon as possible, therefore, do not waste time in waiting for tools or emptying the contents of the bucket. Have a few people ready for these exchanges.

Flame Proof Lamps

It is quite understandable why you would need lights when you are working inside of an oil tank. However, since electricity is not always available, you must count on lamps that are flame proof. It’s self explanatory why anyone would need flameproof lamps when working inside an oil tank.

Frequent Breaks

Taking breaks is necessary when working around or inside oil tanks. There should be rotations among the crew members so that no body is exhausted. This is important for the overall health of crew members.

Double Check the Breathing Apparatus

One of the most neglected things when working inside an oil tank is to forget to check the breathing supplies properly. Before starting with the work, the oxygen supplying tool should be checked to make sure it is working properly. Other than this, make sure to inform your partners of the job so that they’re well aware of your presence.

Working around hazardous oil tanks requires a lot of safety and concentration. It is the responsibility of both the worker and the superior to make sure everything is in place and safe.