Time is up for tripod fuel tanks
Tripod fuel tanks were common on New Zealand farms. The fact is, they no longer meet WorkSafe requirements and should be replaced.
In 1996, the Department of Labour (now WorkSafe) cancelled the approval to manufacture tripod (three-legged) stands on fuel tanks. The reasons were that there had been “numerous accidents due to the failure of the tanks’ supporting structures and stability”, and that the tripod fuel tanks did not meet the design standards of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) 1996.
The intention at the time was that farmers could continue to use their existing tank until they reached the end of their working life and then be removed from service at that point. The expectation was that, by now, most if not all tripod tanks would no longer be in use. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
With the implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Hazardous Substances) 2017, there is a requirement to assess and remove risk from the workplace. As tripod tanks do not comply with HSNO design standards and are inherently unstable, then they also don’t comply with the Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Hazardous Substances) 2017. There is a responsibility with the equipment owner, but also with fuel suppliers, who may choose not to fill these tanks.
It is also important to note that when a design has had its certification cancelled, they in turn cannot be altered, reconditioned, relocated or on-sold for fuel storage. When considering decommissioning an existing tripod tank, it must be disposed of correctly and in an environmentally friendly manner. We recommended that a suitably qualified fuel removal expert is used.
If you have a tripod tank for fuel storage, please contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative for advice around replacement.
Supplied by Allied Petroleum