The Safe Loading Pass Scheme - operated by the UK Participating Major Oil Companies
For the distribution operations of major oil companies, road tanker loading in terminals represents one of the highest risk activities. Although the move to bottom loading and vapour recovery has brought about a large increase in safety owing to the near-elimination of liquid and vapour release when loading, there remains a high degree of dependency on the integrity of road tanker design and maintenance.
The investment required in terminals for bottom loading, vapour recovery and automation has resulted in the rationalisation of individual oil company networks, leading to joint-venture terminals and arrangements for product exchange and through-putting. In addition, the considerable increase in reliance on contractors for distribution and the proliferation of tankers of independent customers being loaded at terminals has resulted in the possibility of different road tanker designs, configurations, ages and maintenance regimes that ultimately could affect the safety of the loading operation.
To meet these challenges, representatives of the Major UK Oil Companies have devised a Safe Loading Pass Scheme whose aim is to provide a means of controlling the hazards associated with road tankers when they are loaded at distribution terminals in order to protect:
- the health and safety of drivers and other personnel,
- the facilities themselves and other road tankers that might be present, and
- the environment.
This aim is achieved by the establishing of relevant road tanker design and maintenance criteria, and the use of a bi-annual tanker inspection regime by trained personnel that ensures essential safety standards of road tankers are reliably met. These inspections, to an agreed common standard and scope, verify compatibility of the road tanker equipment with loading racks, and covers items which may not be covered by other types of inspection.
In conjunction with a management system, the Scheme assures terminal operations management of a participating company that a road tanker presented for loading petroleum fuels has been inspected for compliance with laid down design and maintenance criteria, and is therefore compatible with the loading gantries and safe for the loading operation.
The Scheme operates independently of the Energy Institute (formerly the Institute of Petroleum), UK PIA and other industry organisations.
The current version, introduced in 2006, supersedes previous versions.