Spill Kits – Different Types and Purposes
Spill kits are an integral part of workplaces in Australia that use or store chemicals, oils, fuels or non-corrosive liquids. The Work and Health Safety Act 2011 requires businesses dealing with chemicals, hydrocarbons/oils to be fully prepared to both prevent and tackle spills, failing which they are likely to face legal consequences, in case severe damage to property, environment or injuries are reported. Investing in the right spill kit therefore is necessary to comply with safety standards.
Spill Kits are classed under three main categories – Chemical, Oil, and Universal, based on their key applications. They can however be put to intelligent use if the situation demands. Understanding their capabilities and capacities and typical use, will help make a well-informed choice when purchasing/using the product.
Chemical Spill Kit
Chemical spills must be contained and cleaned up with utmost care as they may prove quite hazardous as well. This kit typically will contain absorbents, and neutralizers to tone down the corrosive/harmful nature of the original liquid. The absorbents themselves do not degrade or react with the chemicals that they soak up. Custom versions may have vacuums to clear up chemicals that may prove fatal on contact. The kit also includes tools such as dust pans and covered tanks/buckets to safely collect and dispose the absorbents.
Oil Spill Kit
Oil spill kits are available in different capacities to meet both small and large spills. Absorbents, special solutions to prevent spread of oil, disposable collection bags and tools are key components of this Kit.
Universal Spill Kit
This is a multipurpose kit most suited to clean up all non-harmful liquids such as cleaners, coolants, and paints among others. It is also usable to clean up body fluids as well. Safe disposal tools and PPEs may be required based on liquid being cleaned up.
Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) may not be bundled along with these standard kits as it is important to use equipment that fit right to ensure free and safe movement. The right size of relevant PPEs (Gloves, Eye Shields, Boots, Overalls etc.,) must therefore be included in the Kits before they are cleared for use.
Application Specific Kits
In addition to the above mentioned categories of Spill Kits, there are several application-specific kits comprising the right set of ingredients to effectively and safely clean up each type of spill.
There are special spill kits for Healthcare/Laboratories that ideally have absorbents with disinfectant and deodorizing properties to protect responders from biohazards.
Similarly tackling oil spills on waterways or harbours/seafronts need kits that can address large scale oil spills speedily and effectively. Marine spill kits are designed to address this specific challenge and comprise sturdy and powerful tools and components often required for extensive cleanups.
Indoor and Outdoor kits are also separately available to tackle site-specific clean up requirements.
Stationary and Portable Kits
Spill kits are available in different forms – Stationary units and Portable ones.
Spills in different parts of permanent structures such as factories, industrial premises, hospitals, fuel stations, oil pumping stations etc., can be effectively addressed by opting for stationary units at places where spillage is most likely.
Spills in smaller spaces, remote locations or during transit are best addressed by portable kits that are suitable to clean up the worst spill.
Choices are aplenty when it comes to off-the-shelf spill kits. It is possible to get them customized as well as pack in special tools and absorbents if at all required. Take time to assess your needs and spill kits available to pick the ones that fit best.