When Do You Need A Spill Kit?
You might have heard of a spill kit before and are wondering if you need one in your workplace. Spill kits are comparable to fire extinguishers in this way. You don’t expect to need them, but if the situation ever arises when you do, they are ready and waiting. It might be unnerving to be preparing for things like fires and big spills, but it is important to prepare for incidents like these so you can limit the damage as much as possible.
What Is a Spill Kit?
A spill kit is a one-stop-shop group of equipment and gear that businesses use to clean up any spills (hazardous or otherwise) that may happen. They generally include some type of cleaning agents, absorbent materials, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They can also have some type of equipment for spill handling, a disposable container, and employee information on how to use the spill kit in the event of an accident.
Important Factors of a Spill Kit
Spill kits are typically categorized into three different types: general-purpose, hazmat, and oil. Companies need to identify their specific needs and then choose the respective spill kit that will protect them in the event of a spill.
General-purpose kits can suffice for a lot of situations, but it is important to know which areas require a hazmat or an oil kit as well. Let’s go through the three types of kits that are available to companies and how they should use them.
General-Purpose Spill Kits
This is a type of spill kit that can clean up and contain both hydrocarbons and water-based liquids. These kits feature grey absorbents, and this helps them to clean up both types of spills.
Hazmat Spill Kits
Hazmat spill kits, like the corresponding hazmat suits, are for cleaning up spills that feature highly corrosive solvents and acids. The absorbents in hazmat spill kits are typically coloured yellow, which shows they are for cleaning up hazardous chemicals.
Oil-Only Spill Kits
As the name may suggest, oil-only spill kits are for spills that include hydrocarbons like oil and gasoline. The absorbents that are found in these kits are hydrophobic, which means they do not absorb water and will float on the surface. This allows them to be much more effective at cleaning up hydrocarbon spills.
Benefits of Spill Kit Usage
There are a multitude of benefits when it comes to being proactive about spills in the workplace. Some say that you cannot put a price on safety measures like spill kits, but we can discuss the various ways that they benefit businesses.
In this modern world, there is more concern about our effect on the environment than ever before, and spill kits are the first line of defence against environmental damage for spills. We are all familiar with the huge oil spills that have happened in the past, and the damage they can cause, and while spill kits couldn’t prevent these huge oil spills, they can be effective at containing spills that happen in the workplace.
Having a pre-packaged spill kit on hand in the event of a spill helps ensure that the containment of the spill is as quick as possible. This reduces the possibility of harming a worker and limits damage to the environment. Spill kits also include PPE that further protects employees that are near to the spill and are involved in cleaning up the spilled materials.
The materials in the specific spill kits are much more effective than any other methods that companies sometimes use. Sawdust, sand, etc. are practically ineffective for the absorbents included in a spill kit. In short, safety, time, and damage-limitation are all benefits of having a spill kit in the workplace.
Where Do We Use Spill Kits?
So, when do you need a spill kit? Wherever hazardous materials are present, a spill kit is necessary close to that location. These locations can include where fluids lubricate machines, create products, cool parts, and many other functions in a particular workplace. Spills are going to happen no matter how many precautions are taken and procedures put in place. The most important thing is that when they happen, cleaning commences efficiently and effectively to avoid causing more damage than necessary.
Spill kits are meant to clean up and contain a spill to protect the workers and the environment that they work in. They are typically seen in the following industries and workplaces:
- Automotive maintenance and repair garages
- Transport companies
- Commercial restaurants and kitchens
- Clinics, hospitals and ambulances
- Oil, gas and mining sectors
- Public sector and local councils
Spill kits are essential to have in your workplace if you are working with hazardous materials. Implementing procedures to reduce spills is important. But spills are unavoidable, so it is best to prepare for the unexpected. If you are looking for more information on spill kits, or want to set up a consultation, please check out Ecospill’s website and fill out the contact form.