Everything You Need to Know About Emergency Spill Kits
Spills in the workplace are almost inevitable, which is why it is important to plan ahead on how you will respond to these situations. In many cases, the spills are harmless and can just be cleaned up using a normal mop and bucket. In other cases, however, a spill may cause some pretty significant hazards and need to be addressed in specific ways.
When this is the case, it is important to be able to quickly contain and clean the spill properly to minimize any risks. This is where emergency spill kits can be extremely important. There are many of these kits on the market, which can make it difficult to choose the right one for your specific situation.
“Hazardous waste is a serious safety and health problem that continues to endanger human and animal life and environmental quality. Hazardous waste — discarded chemicals that are toxic, flammable or corrosive — can cause fires, explosions, and pollution of air, water, and land. Unless hazardous waste is properly treated, stored, or disposed of, it will continue to do great harm to all living things that come into contact with it now or in the future.”
If you are looking for a good emergency spill kit, make sure they will meet your needs by reviewing the following key requirements.
5 Things to Look for when Purchasing Emergency Spill Kits
1. Proper Size
You can get emergency spill kits (found here) that can handle anywhere from a tiny little spill to a large one. The important thing is to evaluate the potential for spills in your facility. If you only use small containers of a specific chemical or solution, for example, than a smaller kit will be more than enough.
For facilities that use large containers, or have a higher potential for large scale spills, the bigger kits will be required. The important thing is to make sure the kit will be sufficient to safely address most types of spills that could occur in your facility.
It may be necessary, however, to get more than one kit in order to address all the issues. For example, one facility might order a large kit for certain situations, but then also have a smaller one for more common events. This can help you to save money in the long run by ensuring you are only using the right sized kit for each spill. Remember, some spill kits are only able to be used once, so it is important to use the proper kit each time.
2. Able to Clean Your Spills
Another important thing to think about is what types of things you may need to clean up. Some kits are specifically designed, for example, to clean up oil based spills. Others are made for corrosive chemicals. Look through your facility and identify which types of things you have on site that may be spilled and then make sure you have the kit that is made for those types of solutions.
Many facilities find that they need to purchase multiple different emergency spill kits in order to be prepared for any type of spill that they experience. If that is the case, it is important to make sure they are stored in a way that allows people to easily identify
If you have multiple different kits within your facility, you can label them using your industrial label maker (like this one) to ensure people can quickly grab them when needed. Having them easy to identify at a glance will make it easier to get the job done right. Printing off large labels that simply state the type of spill they are made for will help to prevent any delays when a spill takes place.
3. Easily Portable
When possible, you should make sure that the emergency spill kit is easy to grab and bring to the location of the spill. In many cases, this is done by having the items in the kit put into a backpack type container so people can grab it and go. For larger spill kits, such as those that come in a large drum, can be kept with a dolly or other cart to make it easy to move. They may even have the drum on wheels for easy movement.
The important thing is to ensure that you can get the spill kit to the necessary location without delay. The easier it is for you to move the kit, the faster you can get your spills cleaned up. This will, of course, help to avoid work stoppages and keep everyone in the facility as safe as possible during and after a spill takes place.
4. Personal Protection Gear
In most cases it is a good idea to have personal protection gear contained within the emergency spill kits. Things like protective gloves, eye goggles, a breathing mask and other items will help to keep those who are cleaning a spill safe throughout the process.
Many emergency spill kits come with these types of things in them already. If you choose a kit that does not have the necessary personal protection gear, however, you can always supply it separately. Make sure you have all the gear necessary and stored right with the spill kit so that anyone can grab them when needed.
Remember, each type of spill could require a different set of personal protection gear. Most oil based spills, for example, won’t really require a full respiration mask to be included. If there is a toxic chemical spill, however, this item may be needed.
With this in mind, take care to ensure that the right equipment is available with the right spill kits so that people will be prepared to respond to any type of situation. If you have the wrong personal protection equipment with a kit, the individual using it may assume that they are protected, even when that is not the case. This is why it is ideal to have the kits that come with the personal protection equipment included.
5. Safety Signs & Barricades
With some more serious spills it may be necessary to block off an area to ensure people don’t come close until it is cleaned up. If a spill is particularly dangerous, it may even be best to have employees simply put up a sign or barricade to let people know to stay away, and then call in the proper people who are trained to handle the specific type of spill.
This is why many emergency spill kits should also contain safety signs, which can be put up along the hallway to prevent people from coming into the area. You can also use hazard tape (which you can find here), which you can place around the spill to ensure people don’t accidently walk or drive through it.
This will help ensure everyone is kept safe while cleaning up any type of spill. Of course, if the spill is something extremely dangerous, it may be necessary to also evacuate the entire building while it is cleaned up. Knowing how to evaluate the severity of a spill, and how to respond to it, should be part of the training that everyone in the facility receives.
Keeping Emergency Spill Kits on Site
By keeping the above mentioned items in mind when shopping for a spill kit, you will be able to ensure you always purchase the right ones. It is equally important, however, to ensure you always have them in stock. Spill kits are often only able to be used once, and even if they can be cleaned and reused, it is important to have a spare while that one is being cleaned.
Most facilities would do well to have at least two of any spill kit that they need so that they can be confident that they are always able to respond to any spill. If spills are frequent, having even more of them may be necessary.