Spills happen. When they do, what extreme consequences could contractors and workers face, and how can chemical accidents negatively impact construction sites? These are especially important questions for contractors to keep in mind as industrial spills and even stormwater runoff can have dire consequences for construction environments and workers.
Employees who work with water, oil, diesel, solvents, hazardous materials, and other liquids know how imperative it is to respond to spills immediately. Spilled liquids can affect vegetation as well as animals and humans and can even make their way into groundwater supplies. To effectively prepare, contractors must outfit their sites with equipment that allows crew members to respond quickly, efficiently, and successfully.
How? At bare minimum, every construction site should contain spill kits. Regardless of whether employees are working in an indoor or outdoor environment, spill kits provide all-in-one solutions to specific spill categories, giving contractors and the builders who work for them peace of mind.
All spills have unforeseen consequences
Spills left to advance and spread can cost contractors upwards of a hundred thousand dollars in site cleanup fees. That number doesn’t even include potential Environment Protection Agency (EPA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines. In any spill situation, it is the contractor’s responsibility to comply with all local, state, and federal regulatory agency guidelines.
What kinds of solutions are available?
Site managers can easily use spill kits to address all three construction site spill categories:
- Universal or General Purpose Kits are made with gray absorbents for cleaning up both water-based fluids and hydrocarbons, such as oil or diesel from vehicles or construction machinery.
- Oil Only Kits are made with absorbents that repel water, absorbing hydrocarbons only. Cleanup crews use these to absorb oils from loose water that has already been contaminated.
- Hazmat Kits are made with absorbents designed to clean hazardous and aggressive fluids such as acids and solvents.
At construction sites, diesel fuel can present major environmental issues. Contractors who keep diesel containers or vehicles on-site run the risk of developing drips and leaks as well as contaminating nearby water supplies, so proper preparation is imperative.
What products should contractors stock?
Contractors may find the perfect tool for diverting pollutants in spill containment berm dikes. They may implement these dikes to direct pollutants away from sewers or other natural bodies of water in cases of diesel leaks or spills. With sizes ranging from 5-foot to 10-foot sections, contractors can use these to blockade spills, containing them before they can cause serious damage. Need to do more than contain? Constructed with tough outer mesh encased in superabsorbent polypropylene fillers, site managers can use oil absorbent booms to handle all types of hydrocarbon spills such as gasoline, diesel, or fuel and motor oils while repelling water at the same time.
For smaller spills, oil absorbent pillows or universal absorbent pillows can quickly soak up oil on land or water. Depending on the types of chemical agents on hand, hazmat absorbent pillows can facilitate site leaders in absorbing hazardous or unknown aggressive liquid spills.
As contractors are responsible for maintaining clean construction sites while avoiding environmental damage, even small gestures such as adding cigarette butt receptacles can go a long way. With well-stocked absorbent products and well-trained construction staff, contractors can ensure safety and efficiency on their sites.
Need help selecting the right absorbents for your construction site? The professionals at AbsorbentsOnline can help. Contact Travis Zdrazil at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 869-9633.