Spills of any kind can have a destructive and long-lasting effect on our environment. It is crucial to have a plan to minimize its impact when such an event occurs. Spills pose a great risk to employees and should be controlled immediately to stop them from leaking into other areas.
Therefore, if you store, use or transport hazardous materials, it is obligatory upon you to have proper controls to manage spills in unforeseen events. A major part of spill control is a spill kit.
What Is A Spill Kit?
Spill kits are emergency kits stocked with absorbent materials that can be used to clean and soak up spills of any kind. These are effective ways to prevent pollution in the environment and maintain a safe and hazard-free construction site.
OSHA spill kit requirements must be met when working with certain types of chemicals. It is imperative to understand these requirements to ensure compliance and the utmost safety of the employees and facility.
Choosing A Spill Kit
These two pro tips will help you find the right spill kit for your construction site:
Size and capacity
Material of the spill kit
Spill kits are standardized unless altered to best suit your job requirements. There are generally two types of absorbents. One that absorbs liquids such as coolant, acids, hydrocarbons, and water. Another that only absorbs hydrocarbons.
Identify which liquids your construction site uses and then decide which absorbents you may require. Most of the time, sites use several spill kits because they deal with many substances at once.
Types of Spill Kits
There are different types of spill kits depending upon the substances you use, store, or transport. It is necessary to learn about the requirements of your construction site. Here are the different types of spill kits and when they should be used.
- General Spill Kits: These clean up non-aggressive and non-hazardous liquid spills.
- Oil Spill Kits: These are used to clean up grease and oil-based liquids.
- Chemical Spill Kit: Help in cleaning up aggressive and hazardous liquid spills.
- Anti-Static Spill Kits: You can use these for the cleanup of highly flammable or explosive liquids.
- Universal Spill Kits: A universal spill kit is the most common one, and it can clean up a broad range of spills. These are the go-to spill kit for the majority. A universal kit can help clean oil, water, and chemical-based liquids with ease.
A universal OSHA spill kit has the following contents:
- Safety Gloves – Nitrile safety gloves are used as they resist chemical corrosion. These provide the best protection to anyone using them.
- Eye Protection – A tiny amount of chemicals can cause permanent damage to the eye, which is why it is important to use googles.
- Boot Covers – To clean up the spill, you sometimes have to step in it. These shoe covers protect you against the chemical.
- Sorbents – These include large absorbent pads to put over spills, absorbent pillows to contain and engross liquids, along with smaller sorbent socks.
- Disposal Bag – Once you have soaked up the spill, you can collect all the absorbent materials and place them in the labeled bags accordingly.
Spill Cleanup Training
It is necessary to provide every person on the construction site with the proper training and way of using these spill kits. It will help ensure every one is as safe as possible when a spill occurs. You can post a visible worksite map showing the locations of oil, chemicals, and other resources to inform your employees better.
Training will keep the employees safe in instances of a spill and allow them to identify the spill’s severity and call the maintenance department when required.
Store Spill Kits Near The Substances
To avoid any hazardous chemicals from spreading too far on site, keep the spill kits as near as possible so that in case of a spill, the minimum time is used in locating them and using them to stop the spill. Let everyone on the site know of the storage space.
Stock Up on Spill Kits
Since spill kits are one-time use, it is crucial to have a number of them and that of different types of substances being used on the construction site. It is necessary to do this as it can help avoid potential risks.
Stay Safe With Spill Kits
Now that you know how to choose the suitable spill kit, determine which spill kits you need, stock up on them and make sure they comply with OSHA. Along with this, proper training given to the employees will ensure a safe construction site for all.