Spill Containment/Absorbents

Trends in ... spill containment

It pays to be proactive about workplace spills. “It’s incredibly important to think about spill response before a spill event happens,” said Josh Hollows, product support specialist at New Pig. “As a rule, always make sure you have spill materials within 20 feet of work centers and spill prone areas to ensure rapid cleanup while limiting risks to workers and the environment. When deciding the quantity and locations of spill kits, it’s important to consider factors such as the proximity of drains, potential spill size and ease of accessibility.”

Creating a spill kit

“Different workspaces and industries demand different absorbents and products to meet their specific needs,” 
Hollows said. “Determining the best fit really isn’t as difficult as it may seem.”

To help you “narrow down the selection to a few kits that will be suitable for your situation,” he suggests answering these questions:

  • What liquids will you be absorbing?
What’s the volume of your worst-case-scenario spill?
What container works best for your location?

“By knowing what liquids are used in your facility, you can select the correct kit to respond to spills you could encounter,” Hollows said.

Facilities also need to be prepared for leaks and drips. Said Hollows: “Having multiple absorbent supply stations located around a facility allows workers to have easy access to materials to easily and effectively clean up daily leaks, drips and overspray that can create serious safety hazards.”

Scott Hoffman, director of business development at ITU AbsorbTech Inc., offers advice on using and replacing absorbents.

“Changing out fully saturated absorbents in a timely manner is important,” Hoffman said. “To check if absorbents have reached absorption capacity, use the step-on/step-off method. Place your foot gently over the absorbent. Then, place your foot on the floor. If liquid transfers from your foot to the floor, the absorbent is ready to be changed.”

Hollows added: “If you’re unsure of how to properly dispose of used spill response materials, reach out to your local authority having jurisdiction to verify the appropriate disposal method, as regulations can vary by region.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

Coming next month:

  • Eyewashes/showers
  • Materials handling/
warehouse safety

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