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Construction sites are associated with a variety of hazards. Some of these such as the presence of heavy equipment or dangerous equipment are more noticeable. However, there are other risks which might not be as apparent to the naked eye. Fuel and water storage are two common concerns and yet, there may be times when management does not appreciate how to prioritise such requirements. The fact of the matter is that certain types of fuel may be prone to spontaneous ignition and the associated vapours can easily lead to a flash fire. In the same respect, water needs to be stored safely so that issues such as health and sanitation are not called into question. What do governmental regulations say in regards to fuel and water storage construction sites? Are there any particular concerns which management needs to address? What types of solutions should be chosen in order to ensure a higher degree of on-site safety?
A Quick Look at the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014
Otherwise known as the PCR, these guidelines were established in order to address the very real concern of fuel storage within two specific situations:
Sites which store petrol for subsequent distribution to vehicles (other than a petrol station).
Non-workplace situations (such as homes and commercial buildings) which are intended to store fuel.
It is first important to note that management will need to obtain a valid storage certificate before fuels are allowed to remain within a construction site. This essentially signifies that the initial safety requirements have been met. However, utilising the proper storage containers is just as critical. This will help to prevent hazardous situations such as leaks and spills. Not all construction site storage solutions are able to meet the stringent demands put forth in the regulations mentioned above, so management should be well aware of what configurations are suitable as well as those which are prohibited.
How to Properly Store Fuel
The type of storage container used will have a massive impact upon the safety of any internal fuel. This is why the use of a self-bunded fuel tank is necessary. Unlike normal storage tanks with only a single skin, bunded variants are equipped with a secondary containment tank located on the exterior of the unit (thus the term "skin"). This secondary tank provides an extra level of redundancy in the event that the internal skin becomes accidentally punctured. In other words, the chances of a leak occurring are dramatically reduced.
Self-enclosed pumps should also be present, as attaching an exterior pump can likewise lead to leaks and in certain situations, even static discharge. A built-in pump offers a much higher level of safety and reliability. Furthermore, all fuel storage tanks should be made from high-strength steel so that durability is never called into question. Many of these tanks are capable of storing different types of fuel such as petrol, oil and diesel.
In the event that fuel needs to be transported from place to place, a portable fuel bowser that can be towed by a vehicle could be an excellent option. While possessing all of the safety measures mentioned above, these units are quite flexible and convenient.
Water Storage Concerns
All containers which are designed to store water on a construction site should be clearly labelled. In the event that the water is intended to be used for multiple purposes, it may also be necessary to denote whether or not it is potable (suitable for human consumption).
Static water tanks are available in a number of different sizes and some have the ability to accommodate up to 2,000 gallons at any given time. Secure filling points, approved adaptors and the compliance with current ISO standards are critical to ensure that health and safety issues are not compromised. The heavy-duty nature of water storage tanks can likewise help to ensure that no damage will occur; important in terms of longevity as well as the cleanliness of the water itself. These units are particularly beneficial in the event that a construction site does not have immediate access to a mains water supply.
Keeping Safety in Mind at All Times
The phrase "fuel and water storage construction sites" therefore needs to address numerous variables. It is critical that management and employees alike adhere to all governmental guidelines, as the safety of the entire crew could otherwise be placed in jeopardy. Do you require a bespoke and flexible storage solution for an upcoming project? Are you concerned that your current on-site conditions do not meet modern requirements? If so, do not hesitate to contact cross plant hire.