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.

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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.

What Does the New AS1940-2017 Mean To You

After more than 2 years in review the Australian Standard for the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids has been published. At over 180 pages, this Standard has significant changes related to spill control. The following is a summary of those changes and how they will impact you in regard to provision of spill response equipment.

While many Standards are intended to provide voluntary guidance on industry practices, this particular Standard is a very significant one for Australian industry as it is called up in Australian state and territory regulations.

Whilst there are many changes, the single most significant change is the introduction of the term “Spill Response Kit” into the standard and a description of what this kit should contain.

This is first seen in Section 2.3.4. In the previous version, a typical spillage kit was described in this section 2.3.4 as,

  • a metal bin with a tightly-fitting lid partially filled with non-combustible absorbent such as vermiculite;
  • broom, shovel, face shield, chemically-resistant boots and gloves; and
  • a suitable respirator.

The current version of the standard has introduced the term “spill response kit” and updated the description to better reflect improvements in spill kit design.

  • a readily identifiable, suitable container with a lid or cover containing absorbent materials
  • suitable personal protective equipment; and
  • suitable equipment required for spill clean-up.

Unchanged in this section is that the spill response capacity should be based on the loss of contents of the largest container kept and the requirement for spills to be cleaned up immediately is still mandatory.

Section 9.4 of the new AS1940 goes into more detail of spill response kit contents.

The title of section 9.4 of the standard has changed its title from, “Management of Leaks and Spills” to “Management of Above-Ground Leaks and Spills”

Clause 9.4.2 of this section has also had considerable revision. Previously this section had reference to the requirement of a range of neutralising agents and sand for use in response to Class 3 liquid spills. This has been removed and replaced with,

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

Note that a spill response kit is now a mandatory requirement for sites handling Class 3 flammable liquids.

This section goes into more detail on the contents of a typical spill response kit. It states:

A simple spill response kit should consist of some or all of absorbent pads, booms, loose absorbent and contaminated waste bags that are packed in a readily identifiable weather resistant container and are compatible with the liquids stored.

Section 8 of AS1940-2017 describes the requirements for all installations where tank vehicles are filled.

Clause 8.2.6.1(d) has been introduced. It states:

  • A spill response kit shall be positioned within 15 m of the tank fill point.

There have also been changes made to Section 9.8 which covers the requirements of construction and maintenance work where Class 3 liquids are kept. Clause 9.8.1 of the new Standards states:

No construction or maintenance work shall be carried out where flammable and combustible liquids are kept, unless a hazard identification and risk assessment has been undertaken, appropriate controls are in place and with written authorization from a person designated for the purpose by the occupier of the premises.

Section 9.8.3 goes on to state:

Except for routine, non-hazardous work, any work within the restricted area shall be authorized by means of a work permit.

In AS1940-2004, no consideration was given to assessing the risk of spill prior to the commencement. The new standard has added clause 9.8.3(h). This clause states that it is now mandatory that the work permit contains a statement regarding the spill response equipment required.

If a risk of spill is identified in the work permit, section 9.8.4 now requires appropriate spill response equipment to be provided.

Spill Station Australia site auditors have been trained in the new requirements as stated in AS1940-2017. If you want to make sure that your spill response capacity complies with the new standard, contact us now to arrange your spill risk compliance audit.

 

Spill Station Australia

Ph: 1300 66 42 66

www.spillstation.com.au

What is a Spill Kit used for?

If you work in an industry that regularly uses hazardous chemicals, oils, fuels and other hydrocarbons you must be prepared should one of those materials spill or leak.
A spill kit is the equipment used to contain, control and clean up any leak or spill of hydrocarbons or hazardous chemicals no matter how big or small.

Spills and leaks can occur at any time and to the most experienced technician. It is crucial that your business is well prepared as spills can cause injury, harm and even death.

The spill kit is generally used in line with a spill response procedure which is designed to ensure that the spill is cleaned up in the most efficient and effective way, whilst maintaining the safety of colleagues and patrons. In most jurisdictions around the nation spill kits are a legal requirement and form part of the safety and environmental procedures when handling dangerous liquids. It is possible that your business could be fined for not abiding by these legal requirements.

Spill kits can be found in many business and industries, you can expect to find spill kits in warehouses, transport, laboratories, production and manufacturing, restaurants, docks, marinas and other commercial industries. However, spill kits are designed as a spill response product. All hazardous substances should always be handled by a trained professional and with the utmost care in order to minimise the chance of a spill.

To ensure the safety of yourself and others in the case of a spill or when using a spill kit, your work area should permanently contain a safety shower and eyewash station compliant with AS4775:2007 as a minimum precaution. All staff should be trained on how to use these appropriately and how to assist a colleague who may need to use one in the case of any emergency.

There are many benefits to having a good quality spill kit on hand and using it in the instance of a hazardous chemical spill.

Spill kits can be customised to your needs and come in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels that will soak up and contain a leakage or spill. The varying types of sorbents can be used for oil spills in water as well as spills on general surfaces such as concrete.

Spill kits are designed to ensure your business complies with the relevant Work Health and Safety and pollution prevention regulations of your state or territory.

The biggest benefit to having and utilising a spill kit is the safety and security it brings to those working in the area, people deserve to feel safe at work and you never know if or a when a potentially harmful spill may occur that could threaten the safety of personnel.

Spill kits also help businesses to minimise costs in the event of a spill incident. Spill kits are a cost effective alternative to the extra expenditure that would occur if you had to outsource the control and cleanup of hazardous material spill.

Having and utilising a spill kit is much like any other equipment your business may have and use. It is essential that the relevant staff familiarise themselves with the kit, how it work and the types of spills it is suitable for. Contact Spill Station Australia today for more information on our accredited spill response training.

Maintenance of emergency and safety equipment is mandated in the WHS regulations.This obligation can be met and coordinated through the Spill Station service team.

When properly used a spill kit it is an essential safety measure that can protect against harm to people, property and the environment.

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