Terminals sector

The terminals sector is one of movement. The storage and transfer of bulk liquids and gases is a continuous process that takes place in an efficient, clean and safe manner. Terminals provide the availability of raw materials that are vital to our society. In this sector, substances such as foodstuffs, fuels and chemicals are transported and stored in an impressive infrastructure of transport pipes and storage tanks. Specialized locations process or refine substances such as blending and there are LNG terminals, where, among other things, liquefied gas is made suitable for the gas pipeline network.

In this sector, efficiency, delivery reliability and safety are at the heart of all activities; incidents and calamities must be prevented at all times. The installations are equipped with precautionary measures and safety systems, employees are trained specifically and procedures provide for safe working methods. Signage and markings play a prominent role in providing information to all users at a terminal. From safety information to clear routing across a terminal, all these aspects connect seamlessly to efficient and safe operations.

Fit for purpose

Blomsma Signs & Safety focuses on the effective and systematic application of visual communication such as safety signs, process identification, object markings and signposting. We apply the credo ‘Fit for Purpose’, qualitatively and intrinsically appropriate signage and identification for the intended purpose. With a systematic approach we are able to shape the signage from a helicopter view. This results in a comprehensible and universal signage system, a system that informs efficiently, fits the culture and can be realized in phases.

Legal framework and signage

There are several requirements and regulations that the terminal sector must comply with. On our Standards and Laws overview you will find a selection of standards and laws that are related to safety signs and identification.

The legal framework prescribes safety signs to prevent incidents, the European Directive 92/58/EEC is the basis for European member states and has its translations into national legislation.

Employers shall provide safety and/or health signs as laid down in this Directive where hazards cannot be avoided or adequately reduced by techniques for collective protection or measures, methods or procedures used in the organization of work, or ensure that such signs are in place - Council Directive 92/58/EEC

More about the Council Directive 92/58/EEC

In addition to helpful links to gallery projects and white papers, you will find the following topics on this page:

Brochure-Terminals Blomsma Signs & Safety

Find out more about our safety signage products and services in the industry in our 'Terminals' brochure.

Download the 'Terminals' brochure

Arriving and moving on the site

Terminals generally extend over a large area. There are roads and entrances to the terminal, and when located at a port there are jetties. From the point of arrival, it is important to inform visitors, customers, employees and suppliers about the safety policy, desired behavior and preventive and protective equipment to be used. From this point one can also be made aware of general hazards and risks that exist on the premises. This is also where the journey starts, the route to the destination at the terminal. A vital point where a structural visual information supply begins, safety rules and route guidance. Pointing to destination on the terminal such as service buildings, loading racks, manifolds contributes to both safety and efficiency. A tanker truck carrying chemicals traveling an undesirable route across the terminal poses numerous risks. Also the route away from the terminal, such as escape routes and route to the assembly point are indispensable building blocks in a signaling system at a terminal. Practically speaking, there are standards that allow for a clear mix of routing, signage and safety signage.

One of the most high-profile cases in the Terminal sector was the revitalization of the safety signage at the Gate LNG Terminal. A project that had been signaled from the new building but did not comply with legislation and quality standards, resulting in an incomplete information system. The signalling system is now up to date and maintenance is carried out regularly. More about this project can be read in the project case.

Go to the project case

Overview of tanks and pipes

For a terminal, it is important to have an overview of tanks and pipelines for operational management, safety and regulations. This includes information such as tank numbers, capacity, content and any hazard characteristics of the stored or transported substances. When approaching a tank farm, an overview board can even give a quick overview of all the substances stored in the tanks. Overview boards have interchangeable elements, thus matching the dynamic character of a tank terminal.

Pipelines are marked with the legally required markings at practical positions, since a terminal has pipelines where there are no valves or splices over long distances. The marking on pipes is an ideal means to simultaneously display integrated information that contributes to the operation of the terminal, such as ‘from’ and ‘to’ and pipe number identification. Pipeline marking on terminals is a matter of appropriate positioning, smart implementation with additional info for operations and, above all, a correct choice in format and material use. In manifolds and pump pits, the intensity of the number of markings is higher than in pipeline routes and tank pits. With the application of the ISO 20560 for marking pipes and tanks and the use of overview signs, a structured overview can be achieved systematically, compliantly and functionally.

Containers used at work for dangerous substances or preparations defined in Directives 67/548 /EEC (1) and 88/379/EEC (2) and containers used for the storage of such dangerous substances or preparations, together with the visible pipes containing or transporting dangerous substances and preparations, must be labelled (pictogram or symbol against a colored background) in accordance with those Directives.

Anti-slip around storage tanks

At terminals, there are several situations where people can be injured by falls, often from tripping or slipping. These situations occur on slippery tank roofs, steps and cage ladders, places where operators, inspection and maintenance services come on a regular basis. The risk of slipping due to slippery surfaces can often be easily and structurally remedied. Tank roofs are provided with anti-slip walkways and anti-slip patterns around measurement and emission points. The steps of staircases and the rungs of (cage) ladders are made safer with anti-slip panels and profiles developed for this purpose. The application of antiskid materials quickly results in the reduction of accidents and incidents caused by nasty falls and slides.

Safety zones, EX zones and high-risk objects

Where sources of potential danger cannot be eliminated, safety signage plays a primary role. Safety zones, EX zones and high-risk objects where there are risks to the safety and health of your employees are marked with effective safety signage. The purpose of this signage is to inform about the potential hazards and desired behavior in the form of prohibited actions and mandatory precautions. The information is displayed in a sorted way, with comprehensible safety signs according to ISO 7010, on composite signs and markings.

Safety zone signs are used at ‘Battery Limits’, entrances to tank pits, pump pits, valve cages and manifolds as well as at loading jetties (Jetty’s), loading bays and stores of hazardous materials and gas cylinders. Access doors to technical rooms and substations are signaled in a similar manner. A consistent provision of information in line with current safety regulations. The EX zones (explosion hazard areas and installations) can be clarified in addition to legally prescribed safety symbols with graphic illustrations, 3D overview impression boards and photo boards with zone contours. In the terminal sector, a combination of tank farm overview signs is often a standard part of the existing information system, supported by practical street furniture such as barrier posts and barriers.

The Rubis Tank Terminal in Rotterdam is equipped with overview signs for all tank pits with interchangeable elements. Subsequently, the safety signage will be realized in phases, based on a current topic. The realization is based on a signage plan developed by Blomsma. You can read more about this project in the project case

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Firefighting and rescue

During exercises and emergencies, rapid identification of locations of fire extinguishers, extinguishing facilities, notification systems and rescue equipment is necessary. Safety signage is the means to clearly mark these locations. Uniform symbol use according to ISO 7010 and ISO 3864 ensures a broad form of recognition based on established safety colors, shapes and signs. Resources can be signaled in a variety of ways, central to this is that signage ensures that the location can be seen from the necessary distance. Size, shape of signs and placement are essential in the planning and realization of signage of firefighting and rescue resources signage. Examples of marking firefighting and rescue equipment include signage for fire extinguishers, hand-held fire alarms, operating extinguishing (gas) systems, locations of hydrants and valves on fire water lines, emergency showers, and first aid equipment. Overview signs are used to provide insight into the extinguishing water network and the function of the valves. The signage for the resources should correspond to the symbols shown on the safety drawings such as safety plans and use permit drawings. All of these components are part of a terminal safety signage system.

Blomsma Signs & Safety's experience is also frequently applied to (re)branding terminals. A good example of the convergence of decorative signage, tank logo illuminated signs, safety signs and working according to strict safety regulations is the re-branding of Vopak to Evos at the tank terminal in Hamburg.

To the project case