The aim of all fuel oil distributors is to make timely, safe, clean oil fills into well maintained safe oil tanks that comply with legal requirements and individual company policies. It is important to know as much about the tank that is going to be filled and its location as possible.
If the tank is near to a drain, bore hole,river or other water watercourse, and a pollution incident would occur if the tank leaked or was overfilled, the chances are that a bunded tank is needed by law.
Oil tanks should be sited in accordance with building regulations, which protects then from a fire that may be started near by. Siting is typically 1.8m from openings into building and 760mm from a combustible boundary. If this can’t be achieved, a fire barrier can be erected between the tank and hazard.
Obtaining good information about the tank, including its age, condition and location is vital in assessing whether it may pose a risk. If you have any concerns you should check the tank carefully before commencing the delivery. Remember, a tank failure could cause considerable inconvenience and cost for the customer. It could also result in loss of future business for the fuel delivery company and have legal and insurance implications for both parties.
Best practice for drivers is to carry out a dynamic risk assessment on site before delivery.
Particular distributors may have their own notification system for their customers. If your company has such a system then you need to ensure that your company’s system is followed.
Otherwise, if the delivery driver deems that the tank may be unsafe they should attach a warning tag or warning label and/or leave a post card with the owner.
The label may recommend to the homeowner that the tank should be replaced and point them to further information so that they can understand why their tank hasn’t been filled, what their responsibilities are as the owner, the problems a leak could cause and how to resolve the issue.
It will also provide contact details for the fuel oil distributor’s own replacement services.
Oil firing technical Association
Federation of Petroleum Suppliers
Environment Agency for England
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Natural Resources Wales
Get to know your oil tank booklet