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Being Safe During a UST Inspection - UST Training

November 7, 2013

10tipspictureSome Class A/B operators get inspired after taking our training course to perform a daily, weekly or monthly UST inspection. This is an excellent idea for many reasons:




  • It helps re-enforce what you learned during training, making you a more competent UST operator.
  • Your state may require periodic inspections.
  • Your company policy may require periodic inspections.
  • Your next compliance inspection should go smoother because you’ve been been diligently checking your equipment and any surprises would have been found by you and not the state inspector.

However, staff who perform inspections without proper training run the risk of injury and accidents. Typically it is up to the owner of the UST system to provide adequate training for employees tasking with a UST inspection.

Inspecting your UST system involves a certain degree of caution. UST systems are often located in high traffic areas and can involve encountering flammable petroleum vapors. So be safe and be smart. If you’re thinking about starting to perform inspections, please consider the following.


  • Wear safety gear like a orange safety vest, eye protection and sturdy shoes (steel toed boots are best).
  • Read your company site safety plan and inspection procedures before you start
  • If at all possible place a vehicle between the inspection area and any potential traffic that may interfere with your inspection.
  • Use safety cones around the tank pad and dispenser island.
  • Know where your emergency shut off and spill response equipment is located, just in case.
  • Start off with an experienced worker to show you how to inspect properly.
  • Report anything that could be a violation or health and safety hazard.
  • Hire a third party professional if you’re not comfy with doing the inspection.



  • Smoke, have an open flame or cause any sort of static electricity.
  • Open up any large containment sumps.
  • Inspect during times of heavy nearby traffic.
  • Inhale any petroleum vapors or get petroleum on your skin or clothes.

Some states are now requiring that containment sumps be inspected every month. This is a bad idea. Out of all the environmental standards we support–which are many–we do not support UST operators doing this. Let trained professionals and petroleum contractors perform sump opening. Know that each site is unique so extra precautions may apply at your specific location.

We strongly recommend you use the following PEI standards for inspecting your UST and dispensers (Except Colorado Operators who must use the Colorado OPS form). These documents are for purchase but the inspection forms for each are free to download at the links below.


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