You take facility safety seriously and are always looking for ways to increase safety and maximize company profit. And while the hazard storage you have onsite works as it should to ensure chemicals are housed correctly, there’s still a risk of spills. Busy industrial facilities have a lot of moving parts; workers coming and going, heavy equipment and machinery. The likelihood that an unintentional spill will happen is significant due to these factors.
Aside from major environmental concerns, spills can cause dangerous slip and falls, and other health concerns. In fact, OSHA reports that slip and falls are responsible for about 15% of all accidental deaths in the workplace. So, it’s best to prevent spills in the first place with custom kits designed just for your spill control needs.
Common Sources of Unintentional Release (spill):
- Improper installation of equipment
- Pipe system failure
- Equipment corrosion or structural failure
- Operator spill or overfill
- Vehicle leaks
- Leaks during transport of liquids or gases
Public Health & Environmental Pollutants:
- Communicable diseases
- Fungi/ mold
- Toxic chemicals/vapor
- Oils & acids
- Water & soil contaminants
- Fuels & petroleum
- Mercury & lead
Types of Sorbent Products
Pads & Rolls: These are great for small leaks that may happen in walkways. Rolls are perforated so that you can choose just the right amount of absorption needed.
Pillows: Pillows are meant to pick up bigger messes and hold more fluid than rolls. Flexible and moldable, these sorbents can fit into tight corners for increased versatility.
Socks & Booms: These are the most absorbent of spill control products and often are very long so they can be wrapped around a spill source or positioned around a grate or vent.
Custom Spill Kits: Perhaps the best spill response tool out there. Once you determine what hazards are likely in your facility, you can create a custom sorbent spill kit that can be easily accessed for fast response. By creating a spill kit for your facility, you can be sure you have exactly what you need, when you need it.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to chemical spill kit contents, that’s why knowing what kind of sorbent to have on hand is so important. While sorbents like pads and rolls may work for small spills and leaks, larger spills or potential hazardous spills may require pillows, socks or booms that are up to the challenge of cleaning up potential biological or environmental hazards or more aggressive spills.
Whether certain spill control products will meet your needs isn't based on absorbency or size alone, it also depends on chemical type. Knowing the hazard will help to determine the best clean-up program for your facility, whether it be a universal sorbent or ones specifically for oil or hazardous material.
If you haven’t reviewed your facility’s spill control prevention standard procedure yet, there isn’t a better time than now.
Here are a few tips to remember:
- Assess risk: What chemicals are on site? What are the potential spill risks?
- Proper PPE/Equipment: Choose the right products that will both prevent spills and protect workers
- Map Facility: Map out the location of hazards and where spill kits are located
- Identify Key Personnel: Identify the team members who will respond to spills
- Clean-up Program: Create standard operating procedures pertaining to clean-up
- Train Workers: Train workers on the existing hazards in the workplace, how to handle them and what to do in the event of a spill
So, now you have your hazard storage in place and spill control on point. Check out our article on secondary containment for more helpful information on products and ways to make sure you remain in compliance. If you are unsure of what OSHA spill kit requirements and control measures are necessary in your area, always make sure to check out local and federal regulations.