Construction Safety 101 for Fueling Trucks

Truckers are responsible for the maintenance and care of their truck. They are entrusted with their vehicle and expected to comply with safety guidelines while moving product from one area to another. This includes sleeping at appropriate intervals, obeying traffic laws, and complying with government regulations regarding truck fueling.

Fueling a truck is different than fueling a vehicle. The same risks apply, but they exist on a magnified scale due to the larger makeup of the truck and its fuel tank. You should follow these guidelines to avoid property damage or personal injury while you fuel your truck.

Possible Safety Hazards

  • Fires and explosions due to improper handling of gasoline
  • Spills due to improper handling of the hose
  • Slips and falls due to improper positioning of the equipment

Gasoline spills are also an environmental concern.

Environmental Precautions to Take

  • Keep a spill kit on the fuel truck
  • Keep a spill kit with any other mobile equipment
  • Designate one person to be responsible for fuel

Fueling Procedures

  • Pull up to a gas pump at a fuel station designated for use by trucks. Make sure that the station operator sees you and gives you the all-clear.
  • Shut off the truck engine.
  • Have the fuel station operator shut off the equipment.
  • Ground the fuel truck and the fueling equipment.
  • Remove the nozzle and turn on the fuel pump.
  • Attach a rope to the nozzle and pull the nozzle up to the fuel cap with a rope. Alternatively, if you have a second person with you, have them hand you the fuel nozzle.
  • Remove the fuel cap, then insert the nozzle and squeeze the trigger.
  • Lower the nozzle and put it back in its proper place.
  • Shut off the nozzle and pay, if applicable.

Practices for Safe Fueling

You should adhere to the following standards and practices in order to fuel in the safest way possible:

  • Make sure that any storage tanks are kept clear of buildings and vented. If they aren’t buried, they should be grounded.
  • Carry your gasoline inside a closed container. The container must have adequate ventilation.
  • Do a daily inspection of the tank to make sure there are no leaks.
  • Make sure the static chain is always attached to the tank.
  • Always keep the nozzle in direct contact with the tank lip to avoid static accumulation.
  • Don’t overfill any of the tanks.
  • Use a three point system if you’re climbing onto or off of fueling equipment.

You should not do any of the following:

  • Smoke cigarettes or use lighters while the truck is being fueled
  • Allow any open flames (such as welding) within the fueling zones
  • Fuel the truck before you turn the engine off
  • Overfill the truck tank or storage tanks
  • Climb on the fueling equipment before the truck engine is turned off
  • Leave the fuel to pump unattended
  • Work with equipment raised more than 3 meters in the air without wearing fall protection

Conclusion

Many of these guidelines and circumstances are common sense. Gasoline is highly flammable, and therefore should not come into contact with any flames or non-ventilated systems. Similarly, you shouldn’t engage in any practices that threaten your personal safety.

It’s always best to fuel a truck with a partner who can assist you in the raising and lowering of the nozzle. If you aren’t traveling with a second driver, you should see if the fuel station employs anyone who can help you. If there’s no one available, be doubly sure that you adhere to safety precautions.

Sources:

http://ith.dot.gov.nt.ca/sites/default/files/2014-04-28_swp-fuelling_equipment.pdf 
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10420

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