Tote Tank Safety
BSEE Safety Alerts 383 and 472
Tote tanks are widely used in the offshore oil and gas industry. They generally contain a large quantity of liquid ― usually a chemical that is used in drilling or production operations.
Tote tanks are preferred over traditional 55 gallon drums for the following reasons.
They have a larger capacity, so few of them are needed.
They can be moved without the use of pallets or shrink wrap.
They can be used many times, whereas drums often have to be disposed of after use.
They can be completely drained, so there is no residue waste.
Tote tanks can be hazardous because they are portable. While they are being moved there is a chance that it could be damaged such that the contents leak either on to the platform or into the sea.
The following are particular safety concerns,
They could be dropped or mishandled while being moved.
The attachments or appurtenances on the tanks could be damaged.
The wall of the tote could be punctured.
The United States Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has issued two Safety Alerts to do with tote tank safety. They are,
Alert No. 383 ― Lifting Incidents
In 2019, there were several lifting incidents on the Outer Continental Shelf involving tote tanks. These incidents involved moving or repositioning tote tanks, which resulted in 1) load slipping from the slings, 2) snagging on obstacles and 3) colliding with other objects during lifting operations.
An analysis of the data for lifting incidents showed that many could be attributed to not reviewing lift plans and task risk assessments to ensure they are up to date. Additionally, control of loads, roles and responsibilities of personnel involved, securement of loads, lifting of tote tanks, line of fire, and confirmation of clear areas during blind lowering were also noted.
Alert No. 472 ― Damage to Drain Nozzles
BSEE has become aware of multiple instances in the Gulf of Mexico region where tote tank drain nozzles have been damaged, leading to leaks and spills during lifting events.
These incidents have raised significant safety concerns, and it is crucial that possible risks are promptly addressed to prevent further occurrences.