Category Archives: Spill kits

Why spill kit contents are your friends in a crisis

Spill kit contents can vary depending on the type and nature of the spill kit. This article takes a look at the typical spill kit contents that you will find and spends some time considering what these products are and what they actually do in order to help you with spill containment when something goes wrong.

Back in the 90’s an insurance company ran an advertising campaign in which its selling point was ‘we won’t make a drama out of a crisis’.

More than two decades later, the objective of dedicated spill kits is just the same: to prevent unplanned and unwanted incidents from becoming worse than they already are. Their effectiveness relies on a combination of simple science on their part and forward planning on ours and yours. By expecting the worst – remember Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong – you are able to plan for the best outcome when it does.

Crucial to the effectiveness of spill kit contents are three key factors: Anticipation, Prevention, and Cure. Let’s look at all three in turn.

Anticipation: Think about spill containment

If your workplace contains anything that will spill, the best response is to think ahead, and have the right equipment, on the right scale, in instant readiness. A key component of having the right equipment in place is to have a spill kit.

You should consider your particular risks and prepare some form of spill kit contents checklist to ensure that you have all products that you require in anticipation of any particular issue. Typical spill kit contents include spill absorbents aimed at ‘soaking up’ any escaping liquids; this would include absorbent pads and absorbent socks. We explain a little more on how absorbent products work later.

For lorry drivers, if they are carrying ‘spillable’ materials then they should certainly think about an ADR Spill Kit in order to comply with the Regulations. This should include items such as PPE, drain covers and a warning triangle.

Preventing a spill

Preventing a spill in the first place is about good working practices. But think of Murphy’s Law. What if a spill happens, what do you need to prevent its spread?

As mentioned above, spill absorbents are typical spill kit contents. Spill Control Centre offers absorbents in a number of forms that feed into the prevention process and will allow you to start the clean-up process immediately to try and help you in preventing its spread.

These products may be spill pads and spill socks to suit the job, and are available in different sizes to match the size of the spill. Colour coding helps with easy identification in an emergency – for example, oil absorbents are white; water absorbents are black or grey, and chemical absorbents are yellow.

Spill pads are best for absorbing small spills or wiping surfaces; spill rolls reduce waste by allowing you to tear off only what’s needed; spill socks are perfect to bund spills or surround leaking machinery. All of these work in the same way by actively targeting and absorbing the offending spill; they are simply different shapes and sizes for use in different scenarios.

Spill Kit Contents

Cure: Cleaning up a spill

Absorbent granules can be added to a spill kit and can be very effective for any clean-up work after a spill. They should conform to BS476 Part 7, which means they’re chemically inert and fire retardant. The science behind them all is much the same, and is based on organic chemistry. That’s what allows these products to soak up liquids and convert them into solids that can be shovelled or swept up for appropriate disposal.

Many absorbent granules are based on cellulose – a complex combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and in one form or another the most common organic material on Earth. It’s a kind of sugar, and readily absorbs all kinds of liquid. Think cat litter, for instance.

However, not all absorbents are the same when it comes to side issues that ought to be considered. Some, for instance, are crush-resistant, which is important if they’re to be used in yards with a lot of vehicle movement. Others are non-slip, so useful for areas where people have to walk about. Furthermore, others may be approved for use by the MoD; others may conform to European Safety Standards.

Always remember, whichever part of the spill kit you use it is essential to properly dispose of the used products in a thoughtful and environmentally friendly way; whether it be used absorbent granules, socks or pads, the comment applies equally to all.

And finally…

Think insurance. How much more sympathetic might an insurance company be if a company is able to show that it took reasonable care to guard against and prepare for a spill if one should happen, rather than to be blasé about it and make no preparations at all. Spill Control Centre’s spill kits is a great place to start looking for the products that are just right for your business.

What spill kit contents have in common with a cartoon anti-hero

From blood on a carpet to diesel at the roadside, spill kit requirements vary, so there’s sure to be one available to help you cope with any incident. Spill Control Centre look at the way they’re put together, and how they’ll help you stop a drama becoming a crisis by keeping you in control.

Daily Mirror cartoonist Reg Smythe once had the wife of his workshy creation Andy Capp ask a friend for a loan, but stopped herself short with the comment:

Story of my life; trying to get out of a hole without making the hole any bigger.

Of course long-suffering Flo was talking about being short of money because her layabout husband was usually in the pub and always out of a job, but the comment holds a lesson for us in cleaning up spills. That’s because tackling any spill in the wrong way, without the correct equipment, can make the problem considerably worse. It might be that what’s been spilled, far from being cleaned up, is actually spread further.

For example, hosing almost any kind of a spill into drains will clean the immediate area, but will create a new spill much further away from the original site. And cleaning up any kind of body fluid could bring whoever’s cleaning it up into contact with all manner of diseases with a range of consequences, not only for them, but also for people with whom they come into contact. And the further a spill carries, the harder is it to clean up. Think of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, or the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Spill kit contents and spill kit requirements

Naturally, the best way to deal with spills is to have the right equipment, procedures and training in place to stop them happening in the first place. However, accidents will happen, and when they do the best course of action is to deploy a spill kit, acquired in advance in anticipation of the event.

Spill kit contents vary to suit the nature of the probable spill, but all include appropriate protection for the cleaner, varying from surgical gloves to red warning triangles for use at the roadside.

Here’s a rundown of what you might expect to find in a spill kit created specifically for the most common kinds of spill. As well as the contents, check the detail of each of them in our product pages to make sure they have sufficient absorbents to deal with the scale of spill you might expect.

Spill kits from The Spill Control Centre contain the exact products required for any spill of oil, chemicals, industrial liquids or body fluids at work – even if that involves a road journey, because we offer a purpose-designed ADR spill kit. Conveniently packaged and labelled, all contain a selection of appropriate absorbency products to suit the application.

Andy Capp
 

Oil spill kit contents

To deal with a spill of oil there are a number of clever products that will absorb oil whilst simultaneously repelling water, maximising their clean-up capability.
The spill-absorbing products (oil ones are normally white) are offered as socks, pads and cushions, but you’ll also notice tubs of leak sealing putty – invaluable for running repairs to leaks when you’re not able to affect a permanent repair immediately. Kits can also include bags for safe disposal of the used absorbents.

Chemical spill kit contents

Chemical spill kit contents are generally, but not always, yellow to help identify them. They have a chemical composition suitable for dealing with even aggressive chemicals. The scale of each spill kit is an important factor in selecting the right one, and each spill kit is generally accompanied by instructions. These spill kits can also be used to mop up oil spills, but it’s advisable not to rely on oil spill kits to mop up chemical spills.

Body fluid spill kit contents

These spill kits contain chemicals that solidify waste and make it easier to clean up form hard surfaces or carpets. Supplied in single or double applications, they also come in handy spill kit pouches making them easily portable for people covering large areas who might need very quick access to the right materials, such as first aiders or security staff.

Spill kit checklist

Any finally, in the event of any kind of spill where a proprietary skill kit has been used, the first step after the event should always be to re-order whatever you’ve used at the last spill, so you can be ready for the next time. Run through a spill kit checklist to see that what’s in the spill kit is actually what you’re going to need, and put in the order to cover any shortfall.

Picture: Clurross via Flickr

From ADR spill kits to emergency training, lorry drivers are the ‘knights of the road’

For almost 50 years lorries carrying dangerous goods have been required to carry ADR spill kits – Spill Control Centre explains what ADR means, and where to find not only the things you’ll need but also where to find details of the relevant legislation

The phrase ‘New Knights of the Road’ was coined by the RAC in advertising and marketing, and then AA later labeled themselves as ‘the fourth emergency service’. It’s all about providing the highest standards of help to people who find themselves in difficulty on the UK’s ever-more crowded road network, and to keep traffic on the move.

But long before those two fine motoring organisations took on their catchphrases, ‘Knights of the Road’ was always a term applied to other groups such as lorry drivers. The latest developments in road safety merely serve to underline that title; but more of that in a moment.

The transporting of dangerous goods has been governed by European law for almost 50 years. The legislation in question is the ADR regulations, whose name is an abbreviation of the French phrase ‘Accord Dangereux Routiers’, a simpler form of words than its English version ‘The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road’. Its purpose is to protect people and the environment in the event of an accident to a vehicle carrying hazardous materials.

ADR spill control

United Nations involvement

So important is the issue that the United Nations has done considerable work to harmonise the regulations across international boundaries to ensure that protection is as robust as it can be.

Part of those extensive regulations requires vehicles to carry equipment contained within our ADR spill kits to deal with emergencies including spills and fires, and that drivers must be trained in their use. The list includes fire extinguishers, drain covers, boots and high-visibility vests, eye wash and an assortment of absorbents. ADR regulations also require vehicles to carry signs like those in the picture to alert others to when they’re carrying, so they know the best way to clean up a spill.

ADR: how to find the details

Full details of what ADR regulations say must be carried can be found in section 8 of the ADR European Agreement that’s been in force since the beginning of January this year. It’s a common sense collection that calls for equipment to put out fires, to contain and clean up spills, keep operators safe and warn others that there’s been an incident, and is geared to the size of lorries carrying it.

The requirement to carry it recognises that lorry drivers, on the road in their thousands, are always going to be first on the scene whenever there’s an incident, and can perform another emergency service the instant something needs to be done – and they’re ready to do it the moment they pull out of a depot and onto the road.

That ability, and the contribution it can make to road safety, is being further recognised by an organisation called Driver First Assist, which is using it to reduce the number of fatalities in road accidents through ‘first-on-scene’ training.

Drivers keep the roads safe

Driver First Assist was created by former HGV driver David Higginbottom, who says: “Currently, about half of all road traffic deaths are caused by airway obstruction, which can kill within four minutes…that’s half the UK’s ambulance target response time, so it’s not surprising that over half of fatalities occur before the arrival of the emergency services.

Qualified DFA members, trained to manage the scene of a road traffic collision and administer basic first aid, can have a big impact on increasing the chance of survival for those involved, before help arrives.

“A network of DFA professionally trained commercial drivers – those who travel the most miles on the roads and as a result are most likely to be first on scene at a road traffic collision – has the potential to save hundreds, if not thousands of lives.”

One such DFA-trained driver is Robert Carr, who works for Scunthorpe based Clugston Distribution who gave a short presentation on the company’s involvement in Direct First Assist at the House of Commons.

He says:
“I feel I have a better understanding of how to manage the scene of an accident, and I am more confident that I could give good advice to the emergency services on how many vehicles as well as casualties may have been involved.”

From all of that it would seem that the first person who can help when something out of the ordinary happens on the road may turn out to be a lorry driver – so help could be closer to hand than you might think!

 

Find out about the different ADR spill kits we can offer.