We have decontaminated, cut up and removed many disused tanks. There have been some thin wall steel but most have been plastic or GRP. When we first went to see this we knew we had a very different challenge.
This was a heavy duty steel lime "Batching Tank" constructed from 15mm plate at its thinest points. Some areas were strengthened with heavier plate and others further reinforced to take the substantial strain from the motor, gearbox and mixer mounted on the top especially when in operation and turning to mix the product.
The site was fully operational and had other substantial works going on with many dirrerent contractors so a safe system of work was paramount. The area made it difficult to lower or drop the tank and there was to be no "Hot Works" so we had to formulate a different approach.
First thing was to install free standing scaffold around the tank to give safe access to the top and sides. This allowed the product and contamination in the tank to be removed and the tank cleaned inside and out making it safer to work on and ready for disposal. With this completed, the bulk of the product spilt within the bund was also cleared and all the arising removed from site to a licensed tip.
After the motor, gearbox and mixer were removed, using reciprocating saws the tank was cut into small pieces that could be dropped within the tank then removed via the side hatch. This meant the entire operation could be contained and undertaken safely without any risk to our crew or others.
Once the tank was down, the scaffold was removed and the remainder of the associated equipment could be decontaminated and disposed then the area cleaned and washed before handing back to the client empty and safe.