No matter how careful you are when handling and storing hazardous materials, occupational accidents can still occur. And when they do, it is best to be prepared for possible spills by keeping spill kits and sorbents handy in the workplace.
But with the numerous spill kits available in the market, how do you select the one that can take care of the particular dangerous substances in your jobsite? Keep in mind that what works for oils can’t be used for cleaning up an acid spill. Here are a few simple guidelines you should remember when selecting spill kits and sorbents:
- Always remember to review the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the substances your business handles. The MSDS will contain information on recommended spill clean-up methods and materials, including the proper protective equipment.
- Make sure to match your selected spill kits’ capacity with the amount of chemicals your facility uses. When you have to deal with a 55-gallon drum of solvent, a 30-gallon spill kit will quickly be overwhelmed. Have enough equipment for the job.
- Select your spill kits based on the type of spills that may occur. Most spill control equipment is optimized to deal with three types of spills. Non-aggressive liquids are handled by the universal Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) category of kits, while petroleum and oil spills are addressed by special oil-only kits. Acids and dangerous materials must be handled with HazMat-specialized kits, and appropriate authorities must be summoned to aid.
These three quick tips should form the basis for your spill kit acquisition and consequently contribute to your safety when tackling HazMat mishaps. For more pointers on spill control, consult the Seton Canada Product Resource Centre. You can also turn to institutions such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety for detailed information about various chemicals.