Tips For Keeping Your Employees Safe While Working Inside Old Storage Tanks

If the workers at your factory will be working inside old storage tanks to clean them out for future use, you must think about how you are going to keep them safe while doing so. Use the tips below to help you get started ensuring that your employees are not going into a hazardous situation.

Use a Meter to Check the Air Inside the Tank

Depending on what the storage tanks were used for in the past, there may be leftover fumes from chemicals, gases, or fuel that are still lingering in the enclosed space. Before you send the first worker down into the tank, you need to test the air with a meter to find out at what concentration these fumes are present.

If you find very high concentrations of toxic fumes, you will need to allow the tank to vent before sending in your workers. However, even at low concentrations, any of these types of fumes could make a person sick or prove fatal. You will need to send them down with the proper personal protection equipment, such as respirator masks, gloves, and goggles.

Provide Fresh Air at All Times

Since storage tanks typically have very small access ports, and they usually only have one, getting fresh air into the tank to provide your workers with oxygen can be a challenge. However, this is vital for keeping your employees from asphyxiation because they do not have enough oxygen to support their bodies.

While your workers are down inside the tank, you either need to have fresh air blowing through the access hole or provide them with forced air masks that blow air into their face. This type of mask helps to displace any fumes while giving them the oxygen they need. 

Also, radio communication should be maintained between the workers in the tank and the ones standing outside of the access port. Safety lines should be attached to the workers in the tank so that if the person starts having trouble breathing or passes out, they can be hoisted up as quickly as possible. 

Using the tips above can help you keep your employees safer while working inside old storage tanks. However, if your employees will be working with the tanks for an extended period of time, make sure you have made prior arrangements with a confined space rescue service in case something goes seriously wrong. This is so that trained professionals can get your workers out of an emergent situation.

For more information, contact a company like Elite Technical Services Group.

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