UST Class C Training Checkup

Environment, health and safety (EHS) managers are often tasked with managing underground storage tank (UST) systems. It’s no wonder that with three classes of UST operators to deal with, a recent report shows that the most common violation found during UST inspections involves training. Yesterday we reviewed that report, and today we will offer some tips for training Class C UST operators—those who are on the front line of potential UST spills and releases.

According to a recently released report by the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ (ASTSWMO) Tank Subcommittee UST Task Force, the most common violation found during UST inspections involves deficiencies in operator training.

Class C Operator Responsibilities

Class C UST operators are responsible for initially addressing emergencies presented by a spill or release from a UST system. Class C operators typically control or monitor the dispensing or sale of regulated substances.

Under the federal UST training requirements, Class C operators must:

  • Be trained by a Class A or Class B operator, or
  • Complete a training program, or
  • Pass a test comparable to the training.

The training program must teach Class C operators how to take appropriate actions, including notifying appropriate authorities, in response to emergencies or alarms caused by spills or releases. The training must evaluate whether the individuals have the knowledge and skills necessary to be designated as a Class C operator.

Five Extra Training Tips for Class C Operators

As an EHS manager, you must be confident that your Class C UST operators are able to respond properly to a spill or release. In addition to the requirements, here are five extra tips for ensuring that your Class C operator is prepared in case of an emergency.

Tip 1. Walk through the facility one on one with each Class C operator.

Tip 2. Create a model for Class C operators to interact with real emergency alarms, knobs, and switches.

Tip 3. Conduct mock emergency scenarios.

Tip 4. Provide a mechanism for open communication if there is confusion or if there are questions.

Tip 5. Provide Class C operator refresher training annually.

Are you responsible for the safe operation of underground storage tanks? Check the UST Resource Center on® for everything you need to know to operate a compliant UST system.