Every facility that houses chemicals and toxic materials should have a spill response plan set in place in order to prevent small accidents from becoming hazards. That being said, every business should have a spill response equipment and train their employees properly before implementing a spill response plan. Only when you combine the aforementioned two practices you’ll achieve a somewhat safe working environment for your employees.
Assessing the risks properly, selecting the right spill containment equipment, confining the spill, evaluating the incident, stopping the source, cleaning up and decontaminating the site are all part of the process. Every company does all of the aforementioned differently, which is completely fine as no two work environments, and no two spills as a matter of fact, are precisely the same.
However, for the most part, the spill containment kits are quite similar and they usually involve absorbents, containers and cleaning equipment. It’s crucial that the kit of your choosing is easy to access and fast to respond, in order to make the most out of it and clean up the spill efficiently and quickly. There are three types of spill kits: universal, chemical and oil, so depending on the type of liquids your business is handling, your options will vary.
You cannot expect a spill kit meant to absorb oil-based liquids and water to optimally contain an oil spill. That can be a rather costly mistake. Similarly, if you have a spill kit with limited compatibility, any corrosive liquid spillage you tackle with it can result in a hazardous chemical reaction. Universal spill kits can tackle coolants, oils and other non-corrosive, water-based liquids. Oil spill kits are used for cleaning up oil-based liquids exclusively, and chemical spill kits are for corrosive liquids, or liquids of unknown origin.
Additionally, you need to evaluate the volume of the worst-case spillage scenario. This is usually done by determining the amount of liquid that can be spilled from a holding tank or a single container. Alternatively, if the liquids are stored in a drum, you need to take into account all the contents of the drum. However, if the spill is very large, absorbing all of the contents might not be the best idea. Spill kits are oftentimes used together with drain covers and non-absorbent dikes that help contain or channel liquids so they can be recovered with a pump or vacuum.
When it’s all said and done, the best way to deal with spillages is to prevent them altogether. There’s a wide array of equipment for that purpose specifically, such as spill platforms, spill berms, containment trays, spill pallets and much more. These pieces of equipment act as catch basins or containment by themselves.