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OSHA Region VI Reaches Employers Who Manufacture and Maintain Hazardous Material Storage Tanks

OSHA Region VI provided workplace safety and health information to over 200 employers who manufacture and maintain above-ground storage tanks at the American Petroleum Institute's (API) annual Storage Tank Conference on October 7, 2009, in Dallas, Texas. Region VI reached out to these employers at the conference because manufacturing and maintaining the tanks present many workplace hazards, such as exposure to toxic and flammable liquids from leaking tanks. Most of these tanks contain hazardous materials and are typically in use for several decades.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Steel Tank Institute and the National Fire Protection Association, who along with API are participants in the OSHA and Safe Tank national Alliance. The conference provided the latest information on tank-related research, new technologies, and API petroleum standards. It featured multiple sessions to help attendees understand the requirements to maintain tank integrity while complying with environmental and workplace safety and health requirements.

OSHA staffed a booth at the conference, distributing handouts, answering questions, and recommending solutions to employers who raised workplace safety and health issues. Susan Monroe from OSHA's Region VI Regional Office in Dallas participated in an expert panel with representatives from three other federal agencies: the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Over 100 employers attended the hour-long discussion. The panel members answered many questions about compliance with federal requirements.

"This was a standing room only event, and the participants asked many great questions," said Susan Monroe. "They were a very active and interested audience. This was an event where OSHA got the message out to a major group of employers in the refinery industry."

Based on the success of this event, OSHA plans to participate in future conferences. For more information, contact Susan Monroe with OSHA Region VI.

As of February 2010.

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