EYE ON SAFETY
Ditas A. Garcia and Martin C.
Check that your pump hoses have breakaway
couplings. A breakaway coupling will
detach the hose from the filling pump in case a vehicle speeds away while
the filling nozzle is still in the vehicle’s fuel tank. This breakaway
feature prevents the trapped hose from dragging the whole pump down and
spilling the product. One station learned the hard way that fire can break
out in the forecourt when a pump gets pulled down.
Check that your filling pumps are properly
fastened to the anchor bolts.
Poorly fastened pumps can topple down even when equipped with a breakaway
coupling. A recent incident was traced to a negligent contractor.
Check all fuel deliveries for adulteration.
This practice is your only effective safeguard against receiving adulterated
products, according to the President of the Haulers Confederation.
Criminally inclined drivers strike when the dealer or his staff are lax and
lie low when they are alert. In fact, we were told that if you are popular
in Pandacan, you should not regard that as a compliment. It may mean that
tank truck drivers know your staff is lax which is why they are falling all
over themselves to haul in your orders!
Check daily for product loss and/or water
contamination. Dealers who manage an old
site should be extra vigilant because aging tanks or suction lines may fail
without warning. Neither are new underground tanks (UGTs) a guarantee that
you will not experience product contamination or loss. Negligent contractors
may fail to tighten the UGT’s bolts or seal its gaskets properly.
Check the UGT for water regularly. To
avoid pumping water-contaminated product into a customer’s fuel tank,
practice this precaution religiously. When you detect 1-2 inches of
water at the bottom of the tank, drain the UGT and check the product at the
pump for water contamination. Although there is a clearance of about 3-4
inches between the suction pipe and the tank bottom, this gap may vary. Note
that if you are using the metal drawpipe to drain the UGT, you must make
sure that only a properly trained staff member wields the pipe. The drawpipe
can punch a hole in the UGT if it is not lowered gently. A
second and safer
option, according to a contractor, is to use a rubber hose that is fastened
to the dipstick or any long wooden stick and connected to the pitcher pump.
This eliminates the possibility of slowly boring a hole in the tank.
Check the tip of your product measuring dipstick
for any cuts and dents Any deformation
will alter the dipstick’s dimensions, thus giving false readings. If you
have a flawed dipstick, replace it at once. If you cannot replace it
immediately, measure the difference and make the necessary adjustments.
Check that the nozzle is well inside the vehicle’s
filler pipe and points down when filling.
This allows the pump’s automatic filling system to work properly and
therefore prevents the possibility of product overflow.
Regularly calibrate station’s pumps. It
is best to calibrate the pumps regularly to make sure they dispense
accurately. Contractors undertaking a calibration test should be accompanied
station supervisor or a senior staff member to make sure accurate results
are reported and defects corrected. DOE advises retailers to maintain a
calibration record that can be made available to any customer or DOE
inspector. The penalty imposed by DOE for each underdelivering pump is
padlocking and a P1,000.00 fine.
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