Are spill kits really that important? And what do spill kits actually contain? You may have heard that spill kits are necessary but not understood why — or what makes a good spill kit. Not to worry. We’re here today with three things you absolutely have to know about spill kits.
If you work with hazardous materials or waste, everyday accidental spills can quickly go from inconvenient to dangerous. You need to be ready to clean up these spills no matter when, where, or how they happen at your business. That’s where spill kits come in.
The right kits
Not just any spill kits will protect your equipment and employees. Your spill kits need some specific features to be effective, and those features need to be specific to your kinds of possible spills.
The first thing you need to know is what kind of spill kits are right for you.
- General Purpose — General-purpose spill kits are important to have around for water-based liquids and hydrocarbons. These kits use gray absorbents.
- Oil Only — Oil spill kits are specifically designed for the cleanup of hydrocarbons like gasoline and oil. They contain white absorbents that float on water to make cleanup more efficient and effective.
- Hazmat — If you work with highly corrosive acids and solvents, hazardous material kits are for you. These absorbents are yellow and will easily absorb your hazardous liquids.
What your spill kits contain
No matter what kinds of kits you have, there are certain things they definitely need to contain. The second thing you need to know about spill kits is what they should have in them.
Your spill kits should include
- absorbents such as pads, socks, and pillows;
- protective gear for your workers, such as safety goggles and gloves;
- disposable bags with ties to handle soiled absorbents; and
- a clearly marked container to store your unused spill kit contents.
Make sure that the sizes of your kits are right for the potential sizes of your spills. Figure out what your worst-case-scenario spill volume would be, and make sure you have a plan in place to handle it. (Learn more about what spill kits should contain.)
Of course, it isn’t good enough to just have spill kits. The third thing you need to know about spill kits is that they won’t be helpful if your employees don’t know how to use them.
Spill kits need to be accompanied by training to ensure that every employee is ready to respond quickly and efficiently to spills. All employees should
- know the location and contents of all spill kits,
- understand the procedures to follow in the event of chemical spills,
- have access to emergency contact information, and
- know when not to handle spills — sometimes the best response is evacuation.
If you’ve considered these three aspects of your spill kit program, you have a solid base for a spill-response plan! And whether you’re new to spill kits or a seasoned expert, AbsorbentsOnline is here to help ensure you have the right products to protect your employees and your facility.