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July 29, 2022

Guidance on the storage of petrol in the workplace

Many businesses need to store petrol and/or diesel within the workplace. This could be for equipment and plant use or maintenance needs. However, it is essential to remember that fuel is a highly flammable substance, so certain precautions are required - but what are they?

Since the introduction of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) in 2002, there are no longer any specific controls over the storage of petrol or diesel at workplaces - other than petrol filling stations. However, you will still need to follow the requirements laid out in DESAR as petrol is classified as a "dangerous substance."

 What are the critical requirements of storing petrol in the workplace?

If you are storing petrol in a place that is also a workroom, then no more than 50 litres of highly flammable liquid should be stored. This includes thinners, petrol and any other flammable liquid.

If the storage area is not in a workroom, then DSEAR also requires that risks from "dangerous substances" are controlled - as far as is reasonably practical. It would help if you also did what you could to mitigate the effects of any fire or explosion from these dangerous substances. This can include a risk assessment and act on any findings from that.

Look at the storage area to ensure:

  • it doesn't have any sources of ignition (such as compressors or electrical switching), and none are brought into the area
  • it is adequately ventilated (large vents in the door and on one outside wall are considered good practice)
  • it is secure - padlocked and not able to be accessed except by authorised persons (consider arson risks)
  • refilling of equipment takes place in the open air and away from sources of ignition
  • care is taken to avoid spills, and the consequences of leaks or a spill are assessed - Strip Curtains Direct have a range of spill containment products that can help with this
  • storage containers are kept closed when not in use

 How to store petrol in the workplace

Petrol cans and drums are adequate for storing petrol, but if you want to be super safe, you should use a Petrol Storage Chest.

This highly secure storage chest is suitable for Class A petrol storage and is labelled following the Petroleum Consolidation Act 1928. It also conforms to BS5378 regulations (Notification and Marking of sites) and EC directive 92/58 EEC (safety and/or health signs).

The petrol storage chest is ideal for workplaces where no more than 50 litres of petrol needs to be stored, and it should be stored in the open air at ground level.

Other activities, such as emptying and filling containers, should not be carried out in the designated storage area. This is to prevent the risk of fire, which can then spread to involve the larger storage quantities.

Contact us at 0333 999 7171 or to learn more about the Petrol Storage Chest or any of our other COSHH and Hazardous Substance Storage.