Raven Tanks: A Definitive Guide to Australian Storage Tank Regulations

In the realm of manufacturing, processing, and storing chemicals, fuels, and other valuable substances, the management of above-ground storage tanks holds paramount importance for Australian businesses. Compliance with stringent regulations and standards is pivotal to ensure the quality, safety, and longevity of these storage systems. This comprehensive guide, presented by Raven Tanks, explores the key regulations governing the design, installation, and maintenance of above-ground storage tanks in Australia, shedding light on AS1940 and other pertinent regulatory guidelines. By delving into these regulations, you gain the knowledge to stay compliant, avert potential issues, and uphold safe and efficient storage tank systems for your business. 


AS1940: Guardian of Flammable and Combustible Liquids 

AS1940 stands out as the foremost standard governing above-ground storage tanks in Australia. This standard meticulously delineates best practices for storing and handling flammable and combustible liquids, offering detailed guidelines on tank materials, construction, installation, and maintenance to ensure the highest safety levels. Compliance with AS1940 is obligatory for tank owners and operators dealing with substances like fuels, solvents, and chemicals, mitigating the risk of accidents, environmental hazards, and damage to adjacent properties. 


Key recommendations from AS1940 encompass: 

  • Selection of suitable tank materials and construction methods 
  • Implementation of adequate bunding to contain spills or leaks 
  • Incorporation of venting and vapour recovery systems 
  • Application of appropriate signage and labelling for stored substances 
  • Maintenance of safe separation distances from nearby structures 
  • Conducting regular inspections, maintenance, and documentation 


Adhering to AS1940 guarantees that above-ground storage tanks fulfill essential safety requirements, minimizing potential risks to people, property, and the environment. 


Environmental Protection Legislation and Regulations 

Diverse environmental protection legislation and regulations cast their influence on above-ground storage tanks in Australia. The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, operating at the federal level, governs environmental protection, biodiversity, and heritage conservation. Combined with state-specific regulations, these laws set standards for preventing pollution, managing waste, and monitoring emissions. 

Each state and territory in Australia possesses specific environmental protection legislation and regulations dictating the storage and handling of chemicals and waste. It is imperative for tank owners and operators to be well-versed in federal and regional legislation to maintain compliance and minimize environmental impact. 


Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Requirements 

Prioritizing worker safety is intrinsic to tank management, with various occupational health and safety (OH&S) regulations applying to above-ground storage tanks in Australia. The Model Work Health and Safety Regulations offer a framework for managing hazardous chemicals and substances in the workplace, covering proper storage, handling, and hazard communication measures. These regulations outline general duties for businesses and workers to maintain a safe working environment. 


To ensure compliance, tank owners and operators must undertake necessary precautions such as: 

  • Providing employees with appropriate safety training 
  • Implementing safety procedures, emergency preparedness plans, and hazard communication protocols 
  • Employing protective measures like bunding, secondary containment, and spill response equipment 
  • Ensuring safe storage conditions, including adequate ventilation and temperature control 


Addressing safety requirements through regular maintenance, inspections, and training minimizes risks to workers, maintaining a safe working environment. 


Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code) 

Familiarity with the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code) is essential for storage tank owners and operators. While primarily focused on transport, the ADG Code delineates requirements for transporting dangerous goods by road and rail, including proper labelling, packaging, and containment. Though transport-oriented, the ADG Code often serves as a guide for securing chemical storage tanks and mitigating hazards, with principles applicable to the stationary storage of dangerous goods. 


Key aspects of the ADG Code relevant to above-ground storage tanks include: 

  • Placarding and labelling requirements 
  • Emergency response information and documentation 
  • Compatibility of stored substances 
  • Containment and bunding requirements 


Compliance with the ADG Code assures that tank owners and operators uphold optimal safety and environmental protection standards for dangerous goods storage. 


Industry-Specific Regulations and Guidelines 

Beyond general storage tank regulations, various industry-specific guidelines apply to specific sectors. Industries such as oil and gas, agriculture, water and wastewater treRavenent, and food and beverage may have unique requirements for the design, installation, and maintenance of storage tanks. Familiarizing yourself with applicable industry guidelines and implementing best practices ensures that your storage tanks meet sector-specific demands, maintain compliance, and minimize the risk of non-compliance penalties. 

By adhering to relevant federal, state, and industry-specific regulations and standards, tank owners and operators secure the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible operation of above-ground storage tanks. Regular inspections, active monitoring, and a commitment to staying updated on regulatory changes play a crucial role in protecting storage assets and upholding responsibilities to people, property, and the environment. 


Ensuring Compliance for Lasting Storage Tank Performance 

Comprehending and adhering to above-ground storage tank regulations in Australia is imperative for ensuring the safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility of your storage systems. By familiarizing yourself with key standards like AS1940, environmental protection legislation, OH&S requirements, the ADG Code, and industry-specific guidelines, you protect your storage assets, reduce the risk of non-compliance penalties, and safeguard people, property, and the environment. 

Raven Tanks is dedicated to helping you navigate these complex regulatory requirements and providing professional solutions for your above-ground storage tanks — from design and installation to tank maintenance and compliance inspections. Connect with our experienced team today to start your journey towards exemplary tank management and regulatory compliance. Visit our website to find out more about our comprehensive range of services. 

Raven Engineering Group  

1800 770 899  


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