Safety requirements for industrial tanks, site tanks and domestic heating oil tanks
Chemical tanks must comply with the applicable safety requirements.
Chemicals are stored in both pressurised and non-pressurised tanks. The non-pressurised tanks, i.e. tanks designed for a pressure not exceeding 0.5 bar, can be divided into the following categories in accordance with their intended purpose:
- domestic heating oil tanks
- tanks in filling stations
- tanks used in agriculture and forestry applications and in work sites
- industrial tanks.
Tukes supervises these tanks as products under the construction products legislation or chemical safety legislation, depending on the intended purpose of the tank. The supervision of the use and storage of dangerous chemicals, i.e. operations related to permits, notifications and commissioning and periodic inspections, is divided between Tukes and rescue departments, depending on the nature and amount of the handled and stored chemicals.
As a rule, tanks are constructed in accordance with SFS-EN standards. Constructing the tank in accordance with an applicable standard ensures a safe tank solution.
Tanks in use
As a general rule, a tank may be used in accordance with the original approval in the location where the tank has been originally approved for. If the tank is relocated to a new place, the tank must comply with the valid requirements for the new location.
The service life of chemical tanks is long. This means that the tank solutions in use are of different ages and they comply with the requirements valid at the time.
Use and inspection of tanks
The owner of the tank is responsible for the use and condition of the tank. It is a good practice to carefully store all documents related to the tank.
Good tank maintenance requires that the tank is inspected regularly. The statutory obligation to inspect applies to underground oil tanks located in groundwater areas that are important for water supply. Monitoring the condition of the tank is important in order to ensure safety, minimise environmental risks and avoid financial losses. Cleaning soil from leaked chemicals can be extremely expensive.
Safety requirements for different types of tanks
Domestic heating oil tanks
Oil tanks supplying heating oil for buildings must comply with the following requirements:
- as products, the requirements of the EU Construction Products Regulation (305/2011) and the CE marking requirement
The rescue departments supervise domestic heating oil tanks.
Domestic heating oil tanks can be of the above-ground or underground type. One of the most important criterion when locating a domestic heating oil tank is the location's relation to groundwater areas. If an underground tank is located in a groundwater area that is either important for water supply or suitable for water supply, the owner or holder of the tank must ensure that it is inspected periodically. A lot of information on domestic heating oil tanks can be found on websites published by the rescue authorities and organisations in the field.
Tanks in filling stations
Tanks in filling stations must meet the requirements of the Act on Chemical Safety (390/2005) and the statutes issued thereof, and the requirements of the statutes on storage tanks for flammable liquids and the statute on filling stations.
The rescue departments supervise the use and storage of dangerous chemicals in filling stations.
Tanks in filling stations are usually placed underground and located outside groundwater areas that are important for water supply or suitable for water supply.
Tanks used in agriculture and forestry applications and in work sites
Private tanks used in agriculture and forestry applications and in work sites can be either stationary or transportable tanks that are used, for example, for refuelling machinery or for storing AIV liquid.
These tanks must meet the requirements of the Act on Chemical Safety (390/2005) and the statutes issued thereof. Storage tanks for flammable liquids must also meet the requirements for storage tanks for flammable liquids.
Rescue departments supervise the handling and storage of dangerous chemicals in agriculture and forestry and in work sites.
Transportable tanks must be empty if transported on public roads. In case a tank used for storing fuel in a work site should be transported on a public road so that the tank contains fuel, the tank must comply with the statutes on the transport of dangerous goods, i.e. be a UN approved IBC package.
Industrial tanks are usually stationary large storage tanks or otherwise demanding special tanks. Large storage tanks are constructed on-site.
Industrial tanks must meet the requirements of the Act on Chemical Safety and the statutes issued thereof. Storage tanks for flammable liquids must also meet the requirements for storage tanks for flammable liquids.
Tukes approves the location of tanks used in industrial applications in connection with the permit and notification procedure of the production plant. Depending on the nature and amount of the handled and stored chemical, the notification procedure may also fall under the responsibility of rescue departments.
If necessary, the construction of tanks is inspected by an approved inspection body. The commissioning inspection of the tanks is carried out by Tukes or rescue departments.