Major Incident Planning and Support (MIP+S) Level 3

100 videos, 6 hours and 37 minutes

Course Content

Hazards of the tank farm

Video 91 of 100
4 min 25 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Okay, so this is the main tank farm area of the site, as we have said before, this is... These are the bigger tanks, they are... Some of them are what we call floating roof tanks, so the roof of the tank actually sits on the liquid and it goes up and down with the liquid. So as the liquid fills, the roof goes up and as it drops, it goes down. And the idea of that is that you are keeping the vapours and any emissions from the tank to the absolute minimum level. All of the tanks are painted white. The tanks are painted white to reflect the sunlight and to try and keep the temperature... The contents of the tank are as cool as possible and also to reduce emissions and that is best practice for tanks, is them to be painted white. So what we could be doing is we can be transferring in, we can be transferred out of each and every one of these tanks. And we can be transferred over a day, two days or an hour. It can be a short transfer or a long transfer. And the main issues are that we could... Because of the way the site is configured, we could be actually sending material either to the wrong tank or there is the potential to over-fill a tank. And if we had an over-fill of the tank, then again we have lost containment.

So all of the tanks are sitting on concrete bases. And they are on concrete bases in what we know... What we call a bund. So the bund is designed to contain 110% of the contents of the largest tank in that bund. And the idea being that that extra 10% allows the entire contents of the tank to discharge into the bund. Bunds are penstocked, so in each case, if the material flows into the bund, it cannot actually get out until we actually open a valve to allow it to go out. So we could do things like, we could pump it somewhere else or we could deliberately allow it to go into the drainage system and then collect it further downstream.

So our role is to get water cooling on and around the area as much as possible. So you can see dotted around hydrants and the hydrants are linked to two diesel and one electric 4,000-litre-a-minute water pump. So the idea would be for us to get reasonably close, as close as we could do and to set up cooling. So what we would be doing, is again, aiming to try and mitigate the situation and to prevent it from escalating. And if we needed to, we have got foam stocks where we could put a blanket of foam over the top of the contents of the tank, for instance, if it was highly flammable material and there were vapours coming off. The biggest tank on the site is capable of holding 1.2 million litres. And that is our biggest likely or our biggest hazard in terms of the event size that could happen. Fortunately, most of the time, in the tank farm area, there is not too many people present. So the most likely scenario would be initially an environmental incident.

The most likely reason for us to empty a tank is for maintenance. And as you can appreciate, once you take a man lid off, so once you take a small piece off the side of the tank to allow people to access the tank, when you go into that tank, you are actually entering a confined space. And a confined space has its own rules and regulations, its own set of procedures and its own set of legislation. Because of that, we have a rescue team on site, so we have a fully-trained rescue team and they will be in the vicinity of wherever a tank entry is taking place, with the specific objective of being there in an emergency. So they have BA kit, they have stretchers, they have the facility to rescue people from inside a tank. The onus is very much on the operator to make sure they have the facility to be able to rescue people from inside tanks. I am sure that the fire services could also assist, but we would hope to be a bit ahead of the game in terms of it would take us a lot less time to get our guys ready and prepared to enter a tank than it would be to wait for the fire service.