“American Petroleum Institute (API) created the API 650, 651 and 653 to provide standards for the safe storage of petroleum products. These standards were designed to protect employees, the public and the environment. However, it is the tank owner’s responsibility to put these standards into place. API tanks must be inspected regularly, and accurate information must be obtained to prolong the life of the tank safely. Researching and studying the characteristics of the product stored is essential, and could be lifesaving. The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) can provide this information, and should be referred to before any type of inspections or repairs are performed. Serious injury or death could occur if the inspector has not received the proper information needed. Ethanol, for example, reacts violently and explodes with several products. It cannot be mixed or stored with other fuels. Many precautions are to be taken when inspecting a tank with such highly explosive and hazardous contents. A reputable tank company with proper training should be hired to perform the inspections. This training requires ten hours of OSHA, Red Cross First Aid, CPA and BBP. Pulmonary function test, medical evaluations and respirator fit test should be performed on employees before entering the tanks. Tank owners should have a rescue team available no more than fifteen minutes from the site. The rescue team should be properly equipped and trained. “
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