Proper lubricant storage and petroleum marketing go hand in hand. Whether you own a gas station, heating oil business, or bulk storage facility, it’s absolutely crucial to house your fuels and lubricants in a safe, clean, and temperature-controlled facility.
This is particularly true during the summer months when temperatures and humidity both go up. You can’t control the weather, but there’s plenty you can do to keep your operation running smoothly. Start with these three tips.
1. Invest in high-quality labeling. Fuels, oils, and lubricants contain dozens of toxic chemicals and additives. Not only are these products dangerous when exposed to human skin, combined they can cause fire, toxic gas, or an explosion. Label all drums, bottles, and storage containers clearly. In addition, make sure the labeling materials you use are sturdy and able to withstand exposure to heat and the elements.
2. Perform regular inspections. When was the last time you performed a thorough inspection of your storage facility? Summer thunderstorms and high humidity can damage your roof, cause leaks, or compromise the integrity of your storage containers. Every week, set aside at least a half hour to thoroughly inspect your shelving, storage bins, and containers. If you run across any containers that are empty or expired, toss them and make note of what needs replacing.
3. Make sure everyone uses proper equipment. When transporting oils and lubricants, contamination is always a risk; however, you can lower your risk of potential problems by training your employees. This means wearing proper safety equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses, as well as using high-quality filters. Machinery Lubrication says to avoid using galvanized containers as well, since additives in the lubricant can trigger a chemical reaction.
We know WPMA members are some of the smartest (and safest) petroleum marketers around, but we also know it’s easy to fall into bad habits. We hope this blog encourages you to re-think your current lubricant storage plan, and ultimately, increases safety.