Spotlight Question

Are all green spill kits compliant?

The short answer is “no”.

In November 2018 The Australian Spill Control Industry Association published a set of quality guidelines outlining the perameters for an AusSpill compliant spill kit.

The guidelines have been designed to be a first step in overcoming a range of significant shortfalls. One of those points of confusion is the lack of uniform appearance. Currently spill kits are sold in a range of colours including yellow. Australian Standard AS4123 identifies yellow bins for depositing clinical waste. To overcome this glaring conflict, AusSpill selected bright lime green bins as, unlike yellow bins, this colour is not in conflict with exisiting Australian Standards.

The other critical part of the quality guidelines is that for a spill kit to be compliant, the absobent claims must be confirmed by independent laboratory testing using the British Standard Test Method BS7959-1.

The AusSpill Quality Guidelines also has requirements for labelling, inspection tagging and maintenance.

A green bin is not enough. If your spill kit carries the AusSpill mark of compliance, you can be confident you have an AusSpill Quality Compliant Spill Kit.

Poor Sanitiser Storage Could Cost

Poor Sanitiser Storage Could Cost $30,000

Although it has become a required substance in every Australian workplace, alcohol based hand sanitiser is still a dangerous good and has to be stored in a legal manner as per Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations and Australian Standards. Failure to comply with WHS regulations could result in a $30,000 fine.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has specified that provided hand sanitiser formulations contain 80% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, they are exempt from TGA regulations. At these concentrations they are classified as flammable liquids and must be stored accordingly.

AS1940:2017 is the Australian Standard for storage and handling of flammable liquids. It recommends a compliant flammable liquid storage cabinet as a complaint method of storing flammable liquids in your workplace.

The current circumstances has also seen rise to the amount of aerosol disinfectant products such as Glen 20 increase significantly. This is classified as a Class 2.2 flammable gas and as such must be stored safely. An aerosol storage cage provides a safe, secure and ventilated storage area for all aerosols as required by the standard.

Both AS1940 and WHS regulations state that storage areas need to be provided with spill containment to capture and contain spills. Any spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible, using appropriate equipment and materials for dangerous goods. Spill Station spill kits provide a fast and simple method for containing and cleaning up any spills that may occur.

Contact Spill Station today on 1300 66 42 66 for advice about our compliant storage solutions.

New Law Sees EPA Powers Increase

When the Environment Protection Act 2018 comes into effect in July 2021 the EPA will be able to issue stronger santions and penalties to make polluters and potential polluters pay with fines up to $3.2m and jail time for deliberate breaches.

The centrepiece of these new laws is the general environmental duty (GED). It is a powerful demonstration of how human safety and environmental safety are becoming more entwined as the occupational health and safety law (OHS) is the template for building the GED.

The GED is the legal obligation that applies to all citizens. It requires that you must be aware of the risks your activites could pose to environmetal and human health and take all reasonable steps to eliminate or minimise the negetive outcomes.

In an Australian first The Environment Protection Act 2018 makes the GED criminally enforcable in Victoria.

The new sanctions available to the EPA include civil penalties as an alternative to criminal prosecution. Monetary benefit orders allow any profit made from breaching environmental laws to be stripped away from the offender.

Another available sanction is restorative project orders that will require a business to carry out a project to restore or enhance the environment. The EPA can also require a business to set aside a certain amount of money to cover remediation or clean up costs.

An important addition to the Act empowers citizens through third party rights. This allows individuals to make direct application to the courts if it is believed that the EPA has not acted where it should have in a reasonable amount of time.

Spill Station Australia have been helping Australian businesses meet their environment, health and safety obligations since 1983 with our range of products, training and aftersales service. Contact our team to attend your site to identify any gaps in your current spill response and control systems and assist in making you ready for the new laws.

4 Ways To Help Australian SME Workplaces Meet Legal Requirements

As well as being extremely rewarding and satisfying, running an SME in the Australian legal landscape can be a challenging proposition. Once you have met all of the legal requirements of setting up the business, you must have an understanding of the legal aspects of workplace safety and environment protection and how they impact the way you operate.  Failure to meet your obligations can be a very expensive lesson.

Whether it is cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals or oils and fuels, almost all companies deal with substances that require safety and environment protection precautions.

Work Health Safety (WHS) Regulations

In 2011, Safe Work Australia developed a single set of WHS laws to be implemented across Australia.

The WHS Regulations that set out the concise requirements under the Act contains specific references to spill control in Subdivision 2 Spills And Damage.

Section 357(3) of the regulations states:

The person must ensure that the spill containment system provides for the cleanup and disposal of a hazardous chemical that spills or leaks, and any resulting effluent.

Maximum penalty:

(a) in the case of an individual—$6,000, or

(b) in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.

Ensure you have the right spill kits on site to deal with any incident that may arise.

Environment Protection (EP) Legislation

Each state and territory has its own EP legislation. While there are variations between them they all carry the same duty of care requirement.

Companies and individuals must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to minimise the negative actual or likely impacts on the environment caused by any foreseeable incident arising from their activities.

With regard to spill control, this basically means that if you have chemicals, a spill is a foreseeable incident. If an incident occurs and you fail to have the appropriate storage and spill response measures in place, penalties of up to $5,000,000 and 7 years gaol can apply.

Book an onsite spill preparedness audit from one of our trained site inspectors to help you to identify potential issues and implement solutions.

Australian Standards

Whilst not legally enforceable in themselves, Australian Standards set a benchmark for performance, construction, process and maintenance in a wide field of areas. These standards do become mandatory however when they are called up in legislation.

Australia has a range of standards relating to the storage and handling of all classes of chemicals. All of these standards make reference to the correct storage requirements and the need to have compliant safety shower & eyewash equipment, appropriate spill response equipment and safety cabinets.

When assessing a claim, insurance companies use the standards determine that the claimant has operated using best practice. Failure to adhere to the correct standard, eg. failure to store flammable liquids safely, may result in the claim being rejected.

Australian Standards can also be used in legal setting as a benchmark of best practice when assessing negligence and culpability.

The team at Spill Station can help you to understand you what is required for you to meet the requirements of the various Australian Standards.

Codes of Practice (COP)

Codes of practice are issued to provide clear practical instruction on how best to adhere to enforceable regulations.

Section 6.2 of COP Managing The Risks Of Chemical Hazards In The Workplace states:

Equipment must be located so it is readily accessible for all workers if an emergency arises.

If safety equipment is needed to respond in an emergency, you must ensure that it is provided, maintained and readily accessible at the workplace. Safety equipment for use with hazardous chemicals should be compatible with the hazardous chemicals they may come in contact with.

It goes on to list examples of the equipment needed including overpacks, absorbents, containment booms, drain covers and safety showers/eyewash stations.

For almost 40 years, Spill Station Australia has been advising Australian Government and Industry on how to operate in a lawful manner and progress towards best practice.

The Spill Station team of trained site assessors can attend your site and advise you on how best to satisfy your legal obligations. Their range of spill control and response equipment meets or exceeds all relevant Australian Standards and can be tailored to provide you with a cost effective total solution.

Do I need a Spill Kit?

In Australia, there is legislation, regulations, Australian Standards and Codes of Practice that state the requirement that any business conducting an activity where the risk of a spill must have sufficient and appropriate spill control and response equipment in place.

Each state has its own environment protection legislation and regulators. The common thread through these various jurisdictions is the principal of duty of care. The Environmental Duty of Care states:

A person must not carry out any activity that causes, or is likely to cause, environmental harm unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm’.

This means that every reasonable step to avoid the spill and prevent spill from harming the environment must be taken. If these reasonable steps are not taken it constitutes an offence against the Act.

Section 116 of the Protection of the Environment Operation Act states:

116 Leaks, spillages and other escapes

(1)If a person wilfully or negligently causes any substance to leak, spill or otherwise escape (whether or not from a container) in a manner that harms or is likely to harm the environment: (a)  the person, and (b)  if the person is not the owner of the substance, the owner are each guilty of an offence.

The various state environment protection agencies all agree that spill kits and acceptable mitigation tool and are a preferred method of containing and absorbing workplace spills.

Like environment protection legislation, the work health and safety regulations are administered by the states. These regulations have been harmonised across most states to make it easier for national companies to do business across the country.

Section 357(1) states:

provision is made in each part of the workplace where the hazardous chemical is used, handled, generated or stored for a spill containment system that contains within the workplace any part of the hazardous chemical that spills or leaks,

Section 357 (3) of the WHS regulation goes on to say:

The person must ensure that the spill containment system provides for the clean-up and disposal of a hazardous chemical that spills or leaks, and any resulting effluent.

Failure to adhere to this regulation can result in penalties of up to $6,000 for individuals and $30,000 imposed on companies.

Spill kits are an effective tool for containing and cleaning up workplace spills.

The need for spill kits is also reflected in Australian Standards.

The Australian Standard for Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids (AS1940:2017) was recently reviewed and now provides greater clarity on the requirements for spill kits.

Section 9.4.2 of AS1940-2017 states:

In order to deal with leaks and spills, a spill response kit shall be readily available where flammable or combustible liquids are stored, dispensed or in transit storage

The use of the word “shall” in this section indicates that a spill kit is a mandatory requirement.

Various codes of practice further reinforce the need for workplace spill kits.

Section 4.8 of Code of Practice for the Storage and Handling of Dangerous Goods states:

4.8 Spill control and clean-up

Keep equipment and materials for clean up at the premises to deal with spills or leaks, including absorbent material, neutralising or decontaminating material.

Any spills or leaks should be cleaned up immediately.

The short answer to the question of “Do I Need a Spill Kit” is yes.

Spill Station Australia designed and sold the world’s first mobile bin spill kit in 1987 and continue to be the leader in the field of spill response and control equipment. Contact a Spill Station consultant to ensure you have the correct spill kit for your application.

About the author:

Nathan Cartwright is the CEO of Spill Station Australia. He has been in the spill control industry for over 20 years and consults with Defence, Government and Industry in Australia and South East Asia regarding all facets of terrestrial spill response and control.

He sat on the ME17 committee in the most recent review of AS1940-2017 and had a leading role in the writing of the current AusSpill product quality guidelines Spill Response Kits.

Nathan is currently the deputy chair of AusSpill, the peak spill control industry association.

AusSpill Association

AusSpill logo 2019

9001:2008 Certified

Department of Defence Australia Recognised Supplier Badge

Spill Station® Australia is an independently accredited ISO9001:2008 company and a Recognised Australian Defence Force Supplier.

National Safety Council of Australia Gold Member Badge

Does Your Spill Control Meet Legal Requirements?

As well as being extremely rewarding and satisfying, running a business in the Australian legal landscape can be a challenging proposition. You must have an understanding of the legal aspects of workplace safety & environment protection and how they impact the way you operate.  Failure to meet your obligations can be a very expensive lesson.

Whether it is cleaning chemicals, industrial chemicals or oils and fuels, almost all companies deal with substances that require safety and environment protection precautions.

Work Health Safety (WHS) Regulations

In 2011, Safe Work Australia developed a single set of WHS laws to be implemented across Australia.

The WHS Regulations that set out the concise requirements under the Act contains specific references to spill control in Subdivision 2 Spills And Damage.

Section 357(3) of the regulations states:

The person must ensure that the spill containment system provides for the cleanup and disposal of a hazardous chemical that spills or leaks, and any resulting effluent.

Maximum penalty:

(a) in the case of an individual—$6,000, or

(b) in the case of a body corporate—$30,000.

Ensure you have the right spill kits on site to deal with any incident that may arise.

Environment Protection (EP) Legislation

Each state has its own EP legislation. While there are variations between them they all carry the same duty of care requirement.

Companies and individuals must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to minimise the negative actual or likely impacts on the environment caused by any foreseeable incident arising from their activities.

With regard to spill control, this basically means that if you have chemicals, a spill is a foreseeable incident. If an incident occurs and you fail to have the appropriate storage and spill response measures in place, penalties of up to $5,000,000 and 7 years gaol can apply.

Book an onsite spill preparedness audit from one of our trained site inspectors to help you to identify potential issues and implement solutions.

Australian Standards

Whilst not legally enforceable in themselves, Australian Standards set a benchmark for performance, construction, process and maintenance in a wide field of areas. These standards do become mandatory however when they are called up in legislation.

Australia has a range of standards relating to the storage and handling of all classes of chemicals. All of these standards make reference to the correct storage requirements and the need to have compliant safety shower & eyewash equipment, appropriate spill response equipment and safety cabinets.

When assessing a claim, insurance companies use the standards determine that the claimant has operated using best practice. Failure to adhere to the correct standard, eg. Failure to store flammable liquids safely, may result in the claim being rejected.

Australian Standards can also be used in legal setting as a benchmark of best practice when assessing negligence claims.

The team at Spill Station can help you to understand you what is required for you to meet the requirements of the various Australian Standards.

Codes of Practice (COP)

Codes of practice are issued to provide clear practical instruction on how best to adhere to enforceable regulations.

Section 6.2 of COP Managing The Risks Of Chemical Hazards In The Workplace states:

Equipment must be located so it is readily accessible for all workers if an emergency arises.

If safety equipment is needed to respond in an emergency, you must ensure that it is provided, maintained and readily accessible at the workplace. Safety equipment for use with hazardous chemicals should be compatible with the hazardous chemicals they may come in contact with.

It goes on to list examples of the equipment needed including overpacks, absorbents, containment booms, drain covers and safety showers/eyewash stations.

For over 34 years, Spill Station Australia has been advising Australian Government and Industry on how to operate in a lawful manner and progress towards best practice.

The Spill Station team of trained site assessors can attend your site and advise you on how best to satisfy your legal obligations. Their range of spill control and response equipment meets or exceeds all relevant Australian Standards and can be tailored to provide you with a cost effective total solution.

Contact Spill Station and book your spill response gap analysis.

Nathan Cartwright

Spill Station Australia

Ph: 1300 66 42 66

How Do You Contain a Chemical Spill?

There are many instances where you may need to know how to contain a chemical spill or leakage. Not only are there hazardous chemicals and materials in our workplace but some dangerous chemicals are also found in our homes.

In the workplace you should have access to a spill kit and a spill procedure that everyone working in the area is trained on and knows the location of.

If you ever come across a large spill or leakage of a substance that is hazardous or you believe may be hazardous or dangerous there are some steps that you should follow to ensure yourself, others around and the environment remain safe.

As with all workplace activities, the number one priority is personal safety. As any first responder will tell you, if you put yourself in danger the action may result in just adding another person to the casualty list. As a precaution, the safest first step is to evacuate the area.

Evacuating the area ensures that no person can be injured from the spill or anyone who may have already been affected will not sustain further injury. Damage and injury can occur from breathing in the fumes of a spill or having the material come into direct contact with your skin.

If any member of staff has come in contact with the hazardous chemical, remove them to a safety shower and flush the affected area for a minimum of 15 minutes.

The second step is to immediately alert a supervisor or senior person of your workplace and other people in your area. Alerting the relevant people is important to ensure that the correct action is taken. There is no benefit to keeping a spill a secret as this may have later detrimental effects.

The third step is to assess the spill or leakage to determine what you think the substance may be and the overall size of the spill. This is called the spill assessment and will determine your course of action.

This initial assessment will determine whether the spill can be dealt with using onsite resources or if emergency services need to be notified.

AS1940:2017 sets out factors to consider when determining the course of action. Clause 9.4.3 states:

9.4.3 Actions for dealing with leaks and spills

At every occurrence of a leak or spill, the emergency plan should be implemented and consideration should be given to notifying the emergency services.

Emergency services should be notified when :

  1. the liquids have spread, or have the potential to spread, beyond the boundary of the installation;
  2. it is beyond the resources of the occupiers to clean up the spill or leak effectively and safely;
  3. the protective equipment is inadequate for dealing with the situation;
  4. staff are not experienced in dealing with the situation; or
  5. staff and the public are, or could potentially be, placed at risk.

If it is determined that the spill can be managed with onsite resources the process can continue as follows.

The first step to responding to a managable spill is to don protective clothing such a gloves, goggles, gowns and boots as stated in the safety data sheet (SDS) of the spilled liquid. The SDS should be found in the chemical register.

Next deactivate or turn off any gas appliances or other ignition sources that may spark the spill.

If the spill is indoors, open windows and external doors to ventilate the space as much as possible, if fume hoods are available deploy these as well.

Using the absorbents within your spill kit, deploy the booms to contain the spill. If you do not have a readily available spill kit, sand or vermiculite may be able to be used as an alternative. Start from the outer edges of the spill of leakage and move inward. Try to avoid any splashing or spreading of the hazardous material.

Once you have stopped the spill from spreading, use absorbent to turn the liquid hazard into a manageable solid.

Once the spill is absorbed and no free liquids are visible, sweep up or collect the contaminated absorbent and put into a leak proof container or suitable contaminated waste bag.

Carefully remove overalls, then gloves, goggles and finally respirator then deposit info a suitable waste container. Wash hands and ensure there is no residual contamination.

Make sure that the waste containers are clearly marked with the name of the spilled substance. Then contact your waste service provider to ensure the waste is deposited into the correct waste stream.

All of the above steps are very important to ensure that each and every spill is adequately contained and cleaned up in the safest and most efficient way.

How do I find the right spill control solution for me

The spill control sector is an important part of the overall industry and a critical segment of any organisation’s environment protection strategy but remains largely unregulated. In this unregulated environment, there are 4 important questions that consumers need to ask when buying spill control equipment to ensure due diligence is being exercised.

1. Why do I need spill control equipment?

One common thread that runs through the various state environment protection legislations is the obligation for all businesses and individuals to exercise their General Environmental Duty. The Environment Protection Act 1994 defines this as,

“A person must not carry out any activity that causes, or is likely to cause, environmental harm unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm”.

If a pollution incident occurs and the responsible company is unable to provide evidence that the General Environmental Duty has been observed, maximum penalties of up to $5 million and 7 years imprisonment are available to the courts.

2. How much spill control equipment do I need?

In section 2.3.4 (Spillage Control) of The Australian Standard AS1940-2017 for The Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids states that all spills and leaks shall be cleaned up immediately. Liquids should not be allowed to flow into drains or onto neighbouring land, or enter any creek, pond or waterway.

When recommending the amount of spill control equipment required, AS1940-2017 states, “Precautions should be based at least on the loss of contents of the largest container kept.”

Mobile bins are a common spill kit container but the size of the container that a spill kit is packed into does not reflect its ability to absorb a certain amount.  Always ask your spill control provider what the absorbent capacity of the spill kit is. It is important that your supplier can support these claims by providing you with a copy of maximum sorbency testing results from an accredited laboratory.

3. Is training provided?

The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) conducted compliance audits on 52 licensed management facilities and 10 non-licensed
premises that store and handle liquid chemicals and manage spills. On a number of the audited sites it found appropriate training had not been provided. The final report identified the need for, “developing and implementing procedures to train staff in spill management and the use of
spill kits.”

As with all emergency response equipment, staff must be trained in correct deployment in the event of an incident occurring. As well as providing a thorough understanding of how to correctly use the on-site spill control equipment, the training should also make staff aware of how the legislation applies to both them and the company. This is critical as there are responsibilities and liabilities carried by both individuals and the site occupier and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Due diligence requires spill control suppliers to include complete product training to assist with achieving best environmental outcomes.

4. How do I dispose of used absorbents?

Whenever waste is generated, it must be deposited into the correct waste stream. The type of liquids absorbed and the amount of contaminated absorbents will determine the waste stream into which the used absorbents must disposed of.

All states apart from Northern Territory provide documented waste disposal guidelines to ensure correct disposal of oil soaked waste. There are slight differences in these guidelines from state to state. The common principals shared by these guidelines are up to 100kg of oil soaked waste can be disposed of as solid or inert waste provided that there are no free liquids present.

The test method required by these guidelines to show that there are no free liquids is the USEPA Paint Filter Liquids Test – Method 9095A. Ask your spill control provider to supply you with the document that establishes that the absorbents they offer meet this requirement. If they are unable to provide this documentation, the consumer may be vulnerable to prosecution for illegal dumping of waste.

The NSWEPA issued a document entitled, “General Approval of the Immobilisation of Contaminants in Waste”. This document sets out the requirements that must be met in order for general hydrocarbons (C10-C36) to be disposed of as inert or solid waste. One of the requirements of this disposal method is that the absorbent used must be “capable of securely containing more that 100% of their own mass of such hydrocarbons.”  This means that 1kg of absorbent must be able to securely absorb 1kg of oil. Currently there is no commercially available “kitty litter” style absorbent that is able to meet this requirement. Consumers should be aware that if they dispose of oil soaked absorbents as inert or solid waste that do not meet the NSWEPA requirements that they may be liable to prosecution for illegal dumping of waste.

Regardless of what bacteria or enzyme is added to the absorbent, disposal of waste in any method other that what is stated in the guidelines is an offence.

By asking your spill control provider these 4 important questions you can feel secure in the knowledge that due diligence is being exercised and that the correct tools for effectively addressing an emergency spill incident are on hand.

Spill Station Australia can answer all of these questions for you and ensure you get the right equipment to provide your best spill management outcomes.

What are the three main types of spill kits?

Spills can happen at any work place, it’s how you prepare for them that counts.

There are three main types of spill kits to consider when looking to arm your business with the best resources to protect it from damage caused by spills.

General Purpose Spill Kit

The general purpose spill kit is the most common spill kit and they are often found in workshops, factories and loading docks. This spill kit is designed to absorb non-aggressive liquids and contains equipment that is suited to absorbing fuel, coolants, hydraulic fluids, solvents and other common workshop liquids. The general purpose spill kit contains absorbents that are colour-coded grey and the spill kit has a grey lid for fast recognition.

Oil Only Spill Kit

Oil only spill kits are designed to handle hydrocarbons such as diesel, petrol and oils. These spill kits contain a range of components designed to contain and absorb land based hydrocarbon spills.
Some or all of the absorbents in these spill kits repel water and are perfectly suited to absorbing oils and fuels in both wet and dry conditions. The oil only spill kit contains white absorbents and the kit lid is colour coded white.

Hazchem Spill Kit

The hazchem spill kit is equipped to contain and absorb spills of acids, caustics and agricultural chemicals as well as hydrocarbons such as solvents and fuels. This spill kit has application to the widest scope of substances so ideal for sites that use a broad range of liquids. Both the absorbents and kit lid are colour-coded yellow.

As stated in Australian Standards and WHS regulations, the size of your spill kit will need to be able to clean up a spill from the largest container you have on site.

Ask your supplier to provide you with third party accredited laboratory testing to ensure that the stated spill response capacity is accurate. This accuracy allows you to effectively meet your legal obligations.

All of these spill kits contain some or all of the following items:

  •  Pads and Rolls:  Multi-purpose products that are fast acting and designed for industrial clean ups, an economical solution for instant spill absorbency. In addition to cleaning up spills on the ground they can be used to wipe down plant and machinery.
  • Booms and Socks: These are the primary spill containment items that are included in all spill kits. Booms can be linked across a wide from to deal with large spills.
  • Pillows: Whilst not ideal spill response products, pillows are ideal for placing under slow leaks from tanks or machinery as they have a higher absorbent capacity than standard pads.
  • Loose Absorbent: Ideal for spreading over large areas and provides a cost effective option for dealing with small spills.
  • Disposal Bags: To be used to contain contaminated absorbents prior to disposal.
  • Personal Protection Equipment: Generally spill kits contain basic PPE. You should consult you SDS to ensure the correct PPE is available for use in the event if a spill incident.

In addition to these three standard types, there are many other substance specific kits for liquids such as cytotoxic body fluids, peracetic acid and formalin.

By assessing the size of the spill kit needed, the type, its absorbency level and the types of absorbents needed you will have the necessary equipment to tackle almost any type of spill. However, a spill response plan is imperative to ensure that the spill kit is used appropriately to protect people, property and the environment.

What does a spill kit do?

Spill Station spill kits are designed to minimise the threat of harm to people, property and the environment in the event of a liquid spill.

In its simplest terms, a spill kit must covert spilled liquids into a solid manageable form so that it can be safely collected and deposited into the correct and lawful waste stream.

The spill kit needs to be suitable for the liquids that are stored, used and decanted in the specific area of the workplace and must be readily identifyable to promote rapid response.

An effective spill kit needs to be able to do 4 things.

  1. Provide personal protection
  2. Contain the spilled liquid
  3. Absorb the spilled liquid
  4. Prepare contaminated items for disposal

In order safety address any spill, the correct personal protection equipment (PPE) must be worn. The appropriate PPE for cleaning up a spill is determined by the handling precautions of the spilled liquid.  This information can be found in Section 8 of the SDS of the spilled liquid.

Most spill kits contain basic PPE however you should consult your SDS to ensure the correct PPE is readily available.

Initially a spill kit is used to minimise the area effected by the spilled liquid. By minimising the effected aregreatly assists with the spill clean up by:

  • Minimise site contamination
  • Minimise interruption to workplace activities
  • Reduce the amount of absorbent required
  • Increase speed of clean up
  • Reduce the size of potential slip hazard

The primary tool of spill containment is a boom. Booms are a tube of absorbent material and are generally in two sizes. The smaller size is 1.2m and the larger size is 3m. Most booms for spills on land are 75mm diameter.

Generally a spill is moving towards a drain point. The booms are deployed in the path of the spill to minimise the area effected by the spreading liquid and facillitate fast clean up.

One the spilled liquid is contained, it needs to be converted into a solid. To achieve this, spill kits commonly contain two forms of absorbent.The first is absorbent pads that are placed directly onto the spill. The second form is a loose absorbent that is swept through the pooled liquid to produce a manageable solid.They are usually in the form of an absorbent pads or a loose absorbent.

Contaminated waste bags are a standard spill kit inclusion to hold the contaminated absorbents prior to disposal into the correct waste stream. The waste bags must be strong enough to hold the contaminated absorbents. They should be a minimum of 70um and should be clearly labelled “CONTAMINATED WASTE”.

All waste should be disposed of in accordance with your local, state and federal regulations. If in doubt, consult your current waste service provider.

 

A shovel and broom is a very handy addition to a spill kit if it contains a loose absorbent. As spill kits are often used to clean up spills of flammable liquids, a non-sparking shovel is recommended.

 

AusSpill Quality Spill Kits are tested by an inpedendant laboratory to ensure stated sorbent capacities are genuine. Contact Spill Station on 1300 66 42 66 for your spill control solution.

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