On March 29, 2004, OSHA and Safe Tank Alliance, OSHA, API, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA) formed an Alliance to promote safe tank entry, cleaning, maintenance, and rescue operations and work within and around petroleum and petrochemical liquid storage tanks. Worker emphasis for the Safe Tank Alliance included, but was not limited to, tank owners, and operators, tank maintenance and repair workers, tank contractors, and rescue personnel. The Alliance was renewed on October 2, 2006, and May 29, 2008.
Based on discussions regarding the future of the Alliance, OSHA and Safe Tank agreed to conclude the agreement as of December 31, 2010. A number of successes resulted from OSHA and Safe Tank working together to meet the Alliance’s goals. For example:
- Through the OSHA and Safe Tank and Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA) Alliances, the participants developed “Safe Tank Entry: When Entering Aboveground Storage Tanks.” The brochure provides information on how to prevent confined space entry-related injuries when working in aboveground storage tanks.
- Through the Alliance, Safe Tank participants developed the “Fall Prevention for Aboveground Storage Tanks Fact Sheet.”Â This product provides general safety tips to help prevent fall-related injuries to those working in and around aboveground storage tanks.
- Through the Alliance, Safe Tank participants also contributed to the development of the storage tanks module of OSHA’s Oil and Gas Well Drilling, Servicing and Storage Safety and Health Topics page and the Oil and Gas Well Drilling eTool.
- Through the Alliance, OSHA and Safe Tank developed the “Safe Tank Entry Workshop.” As a Best Practices seminar for OSHA staff and oil refinery professionals, the workshop includes information on safe work practices and new technology being used by the oil and gas industry during tank entry and cleaning operations. This workshop was held at the Houston Area Safety Council in Houston, Texas on April 17-18, 2007, was also presented at the API/NFPA Safe Tank Entry Workshop in Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 27-28, 2007 and performed again during the API/NFPA Safe Tank Entry Workshop and Storage Tank Conference in Fort Worth, Texas on October 6-9, 2008.
Report Prepared by: Morgan Seuberling, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, January 18, 2011.