Invisible hazards like the Ebola virus require containment solutions of the best standards, as proved when a nurse in America popped out for takeaway and caused an Ebola emergency when she was in quarantine suspected of suffering from the disease.
It’s almost too easy to think of ‘spills’ as relating to industrial and chemical processes where the results are easy to see; where containment and clean-up efforts have a visible result. But a more effective use for them is where the contaminant is an invisible killer. And what better example of that could there be than Ebola’s deadly sweep through the populations of West African countries?
That’s when a significant amount of trust has to be put in the design and manufacturing integrity of the products available to aid workers, and the way they’re used in the ‘danger zone’. The role of spill control products there has had to be 100% reliable so that aid workers could rely on them utterly in the battle to stop the spread of a virus with no known cure.
Of course the role in those circumstances was less about spill cleanup and more about containment, perfectly illustrating the ‘dual role’ of the poly overpack. Taking part in that fight is American manufacturer Enpac, whose products are available in the UK through the Spill Control Centre.
The company’s products were used in America when a doctor working for one of the country’s major television stations is said to have broken quarantine restrictions to go out for takeaway food in Dallas, Texas. She had recently returned from West Africa where she had been in contact with a cameraman infected by the virus.
What is a poly overpack?
‘Overpack’ is a term applied to anything from a cardboard box to a bag carrying two or more boxes or packs of something else. A poly overpack is a robust container made of polyethylene that can be used for containing waste products like sludge, chemicals, acids or even waste parts.
But it would be wrong to think of it simply as an upmarket plastic dustbin. Poly overpacks, or overpack drums, of the kind made by Enpac at Eastlake near Cleveland on the shores of North America’s Lake Erie for the last two decades, are much more robust. They conform to a number of United Nations and American standards – UN 1H2/X295/S, UN 1H2T/Y295/S – as well as US Code of Federal regulation DOT 49 CFR 173.3 (c). Those standards also include tight-fitting lids as appropriate, and allow the products to be called salvage drums, representing the highest-standard of overpack.
How big are poly overpack drums?
How big do you need them to be? We incorporate them into spill kits to hold up to 41 litres of fluid (where their ‘overpacking’ role includes a range of absorbent products to help with more conventional spill cleanup), but they can go up to the huge Poly Overpack 600 version, taller than a man, and capable of holding almost 2,300 litres of material. In the mid-range we offer a 95-litre version equipped with integral wheels to make moving it simple and safe.
The range is sure to include one that’s perfect for your needs.
Picture: Enpac LinkedIn post