OSHA Regulations on Above-Ground Gas Tanks and Vehicle Impact

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Facilities in charge of flammable and combustible liquids such as petroleum in storage containers must take extra protections when these holding tanks are located above ground. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established standards regarding above-ground gas tanks and the risk of damage from collisions by motor vehicles.

Dispensing Units

OSHA regulations allow people to store above-ground gas tanks inside buildings such as service stations where the liquid is dispensed through approved units. The tanks cannot hold more than 120 gallons each while in the same area where people service vehicles. The service station must have the dispensing devices mounted on concrete islands and away from areas where out-of-control vehicles could possible collide into the tanks while descending from ramps or slopes.


Storage tanks found above-ground must have installation precautions away from vehicle congestion. The containers must be mounted either vertically or horizontally in saddles permitting expansion and contraction of the tanks during temperature changes. Containers and mounts must be installed on masonry or any surface impervious to corrosion and must be noncombustible. OSHA regulations specify that vehicles cannot be serviced within 10 feet of these containers with crash rails or guards erected to prevent impact collisions.

Loading and Unloading Facilities

Any facility consisting of unloading and offloading of tank vehicles and tank cars must have buildings separate from the placement of above-ground gas tanks. Warehouses, plant buildings or adjoining property available for building construction must be 25 feet away from the place where the containers are located.

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