How to Store Your Spill Kits

protective suit

Facilities are obliged to have spill control and containment measures in place to prevent massive oil and chemical spills. Industries such as food, automotive, construction, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing must have a spill kit ready in case of oil spillage, contaminated water leak, busted hydraulic lines, and other unwanted circumstances.

But it’s not just about having a spill kit. Whether it’s at home or inside a large factory, spill kits should be accessible. If you don’t have one yet, many spill kits are suitable for all industries. If you do have one, make sure to follow these guidelines on how to store it:

Study your facility’s floor plan

The area and the various sections of your facility – warehouses, food production facilities, production lines – greatly determine how you should position your spill kit.

Use your company’s site map or floor plan to determine the number and nature of work done in each sector or department and where hazards might be imminent. It might be the room where you store batteries or where your fleet vehicles are refueled.

Consider buying more than one spill kit if you identify multiple risk-prone areas. Make sure that your spill kit’s locations are marked in your map for future reference.

Know the right spill kit for you

The position of your spill kit will also depend on what kind it is.

Generally, the components of spill kits are made with two kinds of absorbents. The first type, which is usually marked with the color blue, absorbs all liquid spills except aggressive acids or bases. The other type, which is often marked with red, is made to absorb acids, bases, paints, oils, and fuels. When these fluids are mixed up in a spill, hydrocarbon spill kits are designed to recover oils and fuels in and around water without absorbing it.

Knowing what kind of liquids your spill kit can absorb better helps you determine where they should be placed.

Label your spill kit carefully

hazardous chemical

Accessibility doesn’t just mean knowing where to put your spill kit but also knowing how best to recognize it when it’s needed. In an ideal setting, spill kits are rarely used and thus tend to be forgotten. It is also possible that only one person knows where it is, while the rest of your staff, unaware, scrambles for it.

Make sure that everyone inside your facility knows the location of your spill kit just as much as your other emergency toolkits. If you have multiple spill kits, mark each position in your floor plan. Label the area above your spill kits. Make sure it includes the spill kit’s type, the liquids it can absorb, and how to use the spill kit properly.

Do you need one or more at home?

If you operate a local business that deals with the management of various fluids or store chemicals such as cleaners, fertilizers, or petroleum at home, then you might want to stock up on spill kits.

The number of spill kits might not depend on the liquids you handle but rather on the foreseen frequency of spills. This matters if you live with small children or pets. Make sure that your spill kit at home is always visible.

Overall, prevention is still better than cure. Establish safety measures for using spill kits and managing hazardous fluids. During a spill, make sure to have a medical personnel present as well.

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