Safe storage and handling
As business partners we need your help in monitoring and informing us of any hazards or potential hazards at your bulk storage facility. A well-managed site will greatly reduce the chances of an accident occurring and will help you to comply with important legislation affecting your operation.
- Ensure all equipment is properly earthed to avoid static electricity discharge.
- Do not introduce an ignition source (eg, a lighted match) to an area that contains or has contained fuel.
- Do not cut, weld or heat empty containers. Empty containers represent an explosion threat as they may contain flammable residues and vapour.
- Store and dispense fuel only in well-ventilated areas away from heat and sources of ignition.
- Label containers properly, and keep them closed when not in use.
- Check that labels remain legible and firmly fastened if product is to be stored longer term.
- Do not allow vehicle engines to be run or started when dispensing fuel.
- Do not allow rubbish to accumulate.
- Clean up spills of flammable products as soon as they occur.
- A clean and tidy site reduces the risk of fires involving litter, rubbish and waste flammable products.
- In the event of fire, follow the emergency procedures outlined in the Emergency Action section.
- Accidental release prevention
Accidental release prevention
- To manage your bulk storage facility effectively you need to know what stocks you have at all times. This is achieved by measuring the quantities received and used and reconciling this with what you have in storage.
- The levels of stock in storage are measured by using either a dipstick or dip tape. When dipping, always check the condition of the cap seal. If the cap seal is damaged, contact your BP Sales Manager.
- Remove the dipstick or dip tape from the tank, wipe dry and then insert slowly. Remove quickly and note the measurement where the wet and dry parts meet.
- Repeat this process, and record the average of the two readings.
- Compare this volume with your receipts and consumption of product. A stock loss of greater than 0.4 percent of product throughput over a period of one month is enough to warrant further investigation. Contact your BP Sales Manager for assistance.
- In the case of on or above ground equipment, check for product loss by way of visual inspection. Check for any obvious leaks or excess corrosion which may lead to a leak
- As a site operator you have a responsibility to ensure that no product is escaping from bulk storage, and that records are kept showing that losses are not taking place.
- When opening drums that have been sitting in the sun, slowly relieve the pressure. After use, reseal the drums tightly to minimise losses due to evaporation and to avoid potential spillage.
- Where possible, store drums on pallets so that leaks can be easily identified.
- In the event of product spillage, refer to the emergency procedures outlined in the Emergency Action section.
- Water can build up by condensation or by leaking in through fault cap seals. Check for water at least once a week.
- To do this you will need water-finding paste which can be obtained from your BP Sales Manager. Smear the paste near the bottom of the dip tape or dipstick. The paste will change colour when it comes into contact with water.
- Drain the water if any is present. Remember to use gloves and goggles to avoid contact of petroleum products with the eyes and skin. In the case of underground tanks, contact your BP Sales Manager is water is present.
- Store drums under cover if possible. If outside, tilt the drums to one side so that water runs off easily. The drum cap should be on the higher side to prevent water entering.
Stock rotation and storage
- If you have multiple storage tanks, alternately draw fuel from each to ensure stock rotation.
- Store and use fuel only in equipment or containers designed for use with the fuel.
- Store heavy drums on lower shelves.
- Ensure that your facility has good security. Use adequate locks and control the issue of keys. Provide fencing where appropriate. These steps can prevent losses from theft, and reduce the threat of malicious damage.
- Having the correct signage on your site is vital. The contents of tanks and product lines should be clearly identified. “Non-smoking” and BP Emergency/Incident Line stickers should also be clearly displayed. BP has a range of signage available. Check with your BP Sales Manager about the requirements for your site.
- BP tanker access to both the property and the fuel storage area should be safe. This means ensuring hazards such as power lines are out of the path of the tank wagon. Access for the driver onto the storage area should also be safe.
Bulk storage facilities checklist
- Suggest routine procedures that should be carried out to ensure the safe operation of your equipment.