Concrete batch Plant Solutions

Concrete Batch Plant Solutions.

All industries pose some type of risk to the environment and the concrete, cement and aggregates industry is no exception. One of the primary risk points on a concrete batch plant is chemicals and sediment laden water discharging through stormwater drains.

Though most sites manage these risks effectively, there is always the opportunity to improve practices. To assist in this continuous improvement, Spill Station have assembled a tailored range of products for concrete batching plants

Chemical management and handling, including waste chemicals is one identified environmental risk area. Spill Station Australia offer a range of spill trays for containers from 20L to 1000L IBC’s. Where a dedicated roofed structure is not available, we have covered bunded units for outdoor storage of chemicals.

Where containment of substances over a larger area is required, RoBund is an excellent solution. It is a modular polyurethane product that bolts to the ground to contain spills but allows vehicles to drive over. Because it is polyurethane it will not chip or crack and can be easily retrofitted to existing sites.

Sediment laden water entering the stormwater system is a constant issue on almost all batching plants. Drain Guards collect solids that wash into stormwater drains and significantly reduce the strain on triple interceptors. They are easily fitted under the drain grate and the installation process occurs above ground so no confined spaces protocols are required.

These Drain Guards are designed to never block even when full. Because they are made from polypropylene, they have the additional feature of removing 99.8% of hydrocarbons that may wash down into the stormwater during a rain event.

Safety shower and eyewash units are a critical piece of safety equipment on all batch plants but are often found in poor condition and therefore non-compliant. The most common problem is that the eyewash dust covers are not replaced or lost and the aerators become blocked. The other problem is the shower/eyewash is exposed to the sun and the water heats up above compliant temperatures.

To combat these common problems, Spill Station offer a self-draining safety shower with a covered eyewash. The eyewash valve is integrated into the lid. This means that in order to turn off the flow of water, the eyewash cover is closed therefore covering the aerators. When the safety shower is turned off all of the water in the shower is drained out of the system, preventing any water from becoming over heated.

Spill Response Kits are a basic piece of environmental/safety equipment found on almost all sites in Australia. The Spill Station Hazchem Spill Kits are a result of over 38 years of experience and are suitable to use common batch plant chemicals as well as oils, fuels, coolant and hydraulic fluids found in vehicles attending the site.

In addition to these products, Spill Station also offer spill kit and safety shower/eyewash compliance audits to ensure your equipment maintains compliance with Australian Standards and WHS regulation.

Contact Spill Station today on 1300 66 42 66 for more details on how we can help you.

Pollution Solution: Stormwater Protection

A $15,000 fine issued to a western Sydney glass recycler has increased the awareness of how serious the EPA is about preventing solids from entering the storm water system.

EPA Director Regulatory Operations Cate Woods said, “The glass can break and enter the environment as wind blown particles or be washed into the storm water system.”

In an effort to make it clear that they are applying an equal focus to all players in the recycling industry, Cate Woods went on to say, “The EPA wants to ensure there is a level playing field for all resource recovery operators and that includes complying with the terms of their Environment Protection Licence and the law.

“This is a timely reminder for all licence holders that they must comply with all conditions of their licence”, Ms Woods said.

The Flat Drain Guard is an efficient and low cost solution to preventing solids and sediment from entering on site drains. Once installed, this passive filter sits out of traffic areas under the grate allowing for the normal operation of the area.

Installation and monitoring are easy as it all takes place above ground so no confined spaces protocols are required.

The Flat Drain Guard has the added benefit of acting as a hydrocarbon filter. Independent laboratory testing shows the Flat Drain Guard removes over 99% of oils and fuels. This makes it ideal for carparks and areas where oil contaminated wash down is entering the drains.

CLICK HERE for more information on the FLAT DRAIN GUARD

Compliant Oil Fuel Spill Kit

Spill Station Goes Lime Green

Australian Standard AS4123.7 designates a yellow bin and lid for use as a clinical waste container. Spill kit users are having to ask the question, “Is that a clinical waste bin or a spill kit?”

By June 1 2021, Spill Station will transition all of our spill kits to the unique lime green bins. Unlike yellow bins, the lime green colour is not in conflict with any Australian Standards.

This same Australian Standard designates red bins for radioactive waste and blue bins for office paper.

We believe that the AusSpill Quality Guidelines provide a significant improvement for all spill kit users and our community as a whole. As well as recommending the bright lime green colour body, it designates white, yellow and grey lids for oil kits, chemical kits and general kits. The guidelines also suggest kit describers with text a minimum of 50mm high on a contrasting background to ensure fast recognition and rapid spill response.

All of the spill kit bags will also be in lime green by June 1 to ensure a consistant appearance to all kits across the range.

These guidelines are not a legal requirement but we believe that having spill kits in a uniform unique colour we are providing a net benefit to the health and safety of Australians and our environment.

Contact Spill Station today to find out how we can help you to transition to AusSpill Quality Compliant spill kits on your site.

$500 rebate

SafeWork $500 Safety Equipment Rebate For Small Business

SafeWork $500 Safety Equipment Rebate For Small Business

In order to help small business to improve safety, SafeWork NSW has introduced a $500 rebate to small business owners and sole traders in NSW to buy and install equipment to make their workplace safer.

Eligible items include bunding, dangerous goods cabinets and spill containment systems.

To be able to claim the $500 rebate your company must have fewer than 50 employees and you are conducting a business producing goods or providing services in NSW. SafeWork has published the full terms and conditions on their website.

Claimants are required to watch a webcast such as Management of Hazardous Manual Tasks

A full list of eligible events can be found on the SafeWork website.

Contact Spill Station today for information on a range of eligilble items.

Ph: 1300 66 42 66

Polluter pays

“Polluter Pays” to be Formally Adopted into Law

Ammendments made to the Environment Protection Act 2017 will come into force on 1 July 2021. The principle of “Polluter Pays” is one of the 11 principles of the Act. This means that regardless of fault, if your activity causes pollution, you are responsible for the cost of returning the damage area to its original state.

Failure to do so can result a remedial notice being issued. Remedial notices are issued if it is found that on reasonable grounds a duty holder:

  • isn’t complying with the Environment Protection Act 2017 (the Act).
  • waste or contamination is present that requires treatment.

If the polluter does not comply with the remedial notice, criminal enforcement may apply. These same amendments will see maximum fines increase to $3.2 million.

A guiding principle that applies not only to this situation but to all environment, health and safety issues is “An ounce on prevention is worth a pound of cure”. By assessing your risks, deploying the correct equipment to offset the risks and training staff in how to respond, the problems associated with the cost of remediation can be removed.

Until 28 February, Spill Station are offering a complimentary Spill Response Capability Audit & Report* to ensure you are ready to respond should a spill incident occur.

Spill Station - Hazchem Spill Response Kit

Spotlight Question

Are all green spill kits compliant?

The short answer is “no”.

In November 2018 the Australian Spill Control Industry Association, the AusSpill association, published voluntary product quality guidelines for industry participants. These guidelines set out appearance, labeling, packaging and performance parameters  for spill kits. Spill kits in this range, manufactured and sold by Spill Station Australia, comply with these guidelines.

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

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.

Flammable Liquid Storage Cabinet

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.

Need of Spill Kit

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

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

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