Key Considerations When Storing Oil

Posted on by Andrew Alty

When working and operating with oil, it is of vital importance that the contents are kept, handled, and stored safely. Due to the volatile nature of such contents, with the constant possibility of a flammable or explosive combustion, legislations, and regulations on storing such chemicals are extremely strict and must be adhered to keep those working with or in close contact with such substances safe. Whether it be a nearby source of ignition, vapours and fumes emanating from the oils being ingested by a person, oils such as petroleum are considered as extremely dangerous substances. This is especially true when said substances are handled incorrectly or without the proper care. This where regulations and laws such as The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 (PCR) and Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) come into play. These regulations will apply to those who store petrol and employees who work on a premises where petroleum is being stored. It is vitally important for owners of such businesses and establishments and employees and members of staff who are also working in proximity with the oils being stored to know and best understand the processes involved in storing these chemicals in different containers and how best to control spills and possible contamination. These articles from the Health and Safety Executive give deeper explanations of the importance of properly storing oils and lubricants:


 In this blog post, we are going to go over what should be the key factors and concerns that should be in a person’s mind when they are working with oil and oil storage. Storing oil should be treated with the highest level of concern to ensure the safety of those working alongside it. We will provide safe solutions for storing oils and effective oil storage containers and limiting contamination and spillages.

One of the first considerations that’ll have to be made is where oils and other similar substances will be stored and if your facilities have the proper storage facilities and equipment for the substances being stored. Of course, you need facilities and storage units that can house and accommodate for possible spillages as a spillage could lead to a violation of the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001. Therefore, one must consider the storage unit, and which one would suit which need as larger needs will need larger storage units and more specific chemicals will need specialised units. For simple drum storage, units such as Drum Storage Units and Drum Storage Unit with Sump Base are the ideal storage solutions. Designed with durability and outdoor storage in mind and manufactured from robust galvanised steel, making the units weatherproof, when considering the nature of the contents stored in these units, they must be designed to be sturdy enough for outdoor storage as storing oils such as petroleum inside would be inadvisable. The heavy-duty nature of the units provides massive storage opportunities. The standard Drum Storage Units allow for palletised stacking or to be set back to easily dispense liquids, lessening the chance of spillage and contamination. The Drum Storage Unit with Sump Base minimises spills and contamination using a 1,200-litre sump unit underneath a galvanised steel grid, heightening the safety of those working alongside the oils and chemicals stored.

Now that storage methods and how to contain contaminations with these storage units have been covered, the next topic to cover is the transportation and dispensing of the oils in a working environment. One of the best units we provide at WorXmart to meet these requirements is the Liquid Disposal Safety Can. Made from high density polyethylene, allowing for the transportation of flammable liquids such as oils and petroleum, it also comes equipped with a spring-loaded sealed cap, with a built-in flame arrester as a barrier against open flames and possible ignition. This can allow for efficient and safe handheld transportation of oils and petroleum, without relying on a piece of lifting equipment to transport units such as drums for dispensing. However, the added safety measure of a sealed cap provides protection against leaks and ignition or flames connecting with the flammable substance.

There are other units that can be considered for storage purposes such as the IBC Storage unit, and as for handheld transportation you can consider the Steel Safety Can as an alternative. However, no matter how secure these items might be and all the measure that have been taken to prevent spills and contamination, it is always vital to have a fallback plan to ensure that if a spill does occur and the original measures can’t contain it, there is an added safety measure to contain said spill. Therefore, a spill kit is always necessary to have on hand when working with a flammable liquids and oils. We would recommend the Workshop Spill Kit with Wheeled Bin which provides the entirety of a spill kit, such as absorbent sheets and towels, a disposal bags and a mobile bin for easy disposal. Hopefully if the oils have been correctly stored, the spill kit will not be needed, but having the kit on hand is always necessary in preparation for the worst-case scenario.

Storing oils properly and effectively should be one of, if not due to the highest safety priority in the workplace due to the volatile, flammable, and dangerous nature of the substance.

We hope you found this article both useful and informative. For more information on any storage and shelving products available on the WorXmart catalogue or to place an order, give our team a call on 0333 234 2344, or visit our website at

You have successfully subscribed!