Jack Tighe Ltd has carried out surface preparation and painting works at all 6 OPA sites but this case study concentrates on one recent contract carried out between October and December 2015 for £288,000. We employed a fully ICATS accredited team of operatives and supervisor under the control of a designated ICORR accredited contract manager.

The Oil and Pipelines Agency is a statutory public corporation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and formed in 1986. OPA is responsible for the operation, maintenance and management of 6 Naval Oil Fuel Depots, one of which is located at Loch Striven. This site is located on the south east shore of the loch and it operates as a diesel and aviation fuel storage depot for the Royal Navy and NATO vessels.

All works were undertaken under the auspices of the OFD HSE Working Guidelines Rev 3 and our method statements, risk and COSHH assessments were drawn up to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. Tank access for all operatives was restricted to one manway with all required cables and hoses being fed into the tanks through a separate manway. Due to the work being controlled by Confined Space Regulations 1997 a top-man watcher was always present and this person operated a tally board system to monitor personnel access and egress from the work areas.

Plant used on this contract, the majority of which was company owned and mobilised from our Head Office in Lincolnshire, comprised an 825cfm compressor, 100kva generator, blast pots, diesel bowsers, spray pumps, clean air packs, heaters, dehumidification fans, a bunded paint store, dust extraction and vacuum recovery units, a fork-lift truck and Zone 1 lighting.

The specification, using International paints materials was as follows:

  • The tanks were tested for gas free conditions by OPA
  • The floor plate area was track blasted by one of our specialist sub-contractors, SPE Ltd, to achieve a minimum of Sa2 ½
  • Shell plates and columns were hand blasted to achieve the same standard
  • Record with Elcometer 124 and course Testex tape surface profile
  • Interline 982 holding primer was spray applied to achieve 50 microns dft
  • A stripe coat of Interline 984 was applied by brush to all welds, sharp edges and previous patch repair areas. (Welds on the floor plates were removed by angle grinders. Any deep pitted areas were treated with a scrape coat of paint as part of this stripe coat process.
  • Interline 984 was then spray applied to achieve 800 microns dft (400 microns dft to shell plates and columns)
  • Records of all dry film readings were taken and recorded in the daily logs and the entire floor area was spark tested using Holiday detection equipment for possible pin-holes.


The blasting operatives wore helmets with a filtered air supply and a positive pressure whilst spraying operatives wore air fed masks at all times. Operatives involved in brushing the stripe coat wore half masks with A2/P3 cartridges. Forced air / extraction equipment was used for air changes within the tank and ventilated to a safe area away from any hot work being conducted by others. Warning notices were posted to ward third parties of potential hazards and Zone 1 intrinsically safe lights were used during all spraying activities. Suitable high powered 110-volt Par 38 lamps were used during blasting works only.

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