• Posted by: Nick

Is There An Expiration Date for Spill Kits?

Would you leave your safety in the hands of chance? Spill kits are a safety tool. Safety in the workplace is important not only to employees and a legal requirement but will save you from costly and dangerous accidents.

You need to check your safety and cleaning equipment to ensure it is in perfect working order. Your spill kit should be at the top of that list. It’s good to add an inspection of it to your regular maintenance program.

Overview of Spill Kit

A spill kit is a fully complete solution of personal protection equipment (PPE) to ensure employee and workplace safety when cleaning up an industrial spill. While the equipment in the spill kit can vary from application-to-application, all kits contain PPE, some type of absorbent material, and clean up chemicals and materials.

Essential Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) in a Spill Kits

Spill kits are customized to the purpose for which they are intended, but most kits contain the following PPE and equipment:

  • Face and eye guards
  • Rubber gloves and booties
  • Single-use lab coat or overalls
  • Respiratory protection

After your PPE, your spill kit will contain spill containment equipment:

  • Absorbent socks
  • Containment booms
  • Drain covers

When your spill is contained, next comes the absorbents to pick up the spill

  • Absorbent mats
  • Granular absorbents

Last, is your disposal equipment. You must have a means to safely dispose of any toxic substances.

  • Disposal bags
  • Any other equipment

Be sure to put your spill kit in a location that is readily and easily accessible for quick grabs. Accidents happen quickly, so be sure to have yours in a likely place where accidents occur.

Tips to Check Your Spill Kits Expiration

The lifespan of a spill kit can vary according to the conditions it is kept. That being said, the average shelf life of a spill kit is five years. But, UV rays and exposure to the elements will degrade a kit quickly, sometimes within a few months.

1. Make checking your spill kit a regular part of your company’s maintenance plan. This will include a visual and physical inspection of the materials contained within the kit.
2. Inspect the absorbent materials for any white flakes or powder. When absorbent materials containing polypropylene degrade, this substance will evidence it and it will be time to replace it.
3. Physically inspect the absorbent socks, mats or pillows by giving a small shake to see if they tear. If tearing is evident, the product is beyond your spill kit’s expiration and must be replaced.
4. Check any spill kits that are kept in less-than-optimal conditions (outside, exposure to UV light or temperature extremes) at least once a month. Stored improperly, the kit may not be suitable long before its expiration date.
5. Swap out any absorbent materials used in kits that are used frequently with the materials in kits in less than stellar conditions. This will help ensure all spill kits are in peak condition and materials are fresh.
6. If your kit is being used only outdoors, consider purchasing a UV-resistant spill kit. The specialized container will protect it from the elements for up to 8000 hours.

7. Rapid response in a spill is critical. Post the locations of skill kits for more effective response times for your team.

Summary

In knowing what your spill kit contains, you can automatically know if any critical components are missing or have been used. Along with that, we now know that a spill kits expiration doesn’t have a hard and fast date, but the absorbents in them have a shelf life depending on the conditions they are kept in. The absorbents should last around five years. But adverse conditions can affect this life span, so continual visual and physical inspections are required to make sure that your spill kit is in peak condition. Have you checked yours lately? Call us to get a spill kit perfect for your application!