Spill kits are an invaluable piece of health and safety equipment, used across industrial and commercial sites the world over. More and more people are carrying spill kits in their vans, trucks and lorries, and so we have written this guide to what to look for – making sure that you get the perfect spill kit for your vehicle.
What is a spill kit?
A spill kit is a collection of absorbent products, cleaning equipment and disposal bags. There are several variants, designed to deal effectively with specific kinds of substances.
What is in the kit, and how do I use it?
A good quality spill kit will include:
- Absorbent rolls/socks: these are used to form an impenetrable barrier or wall around the spill so that it doesn’t spread uncontrolled.
- Absorbent pads: these tackle the bulk of the spill. Once the socks or rolls are in place the pads can be used on the main puddle or spill, to soak up the liquid quickly and efficiently.
- Disposal bags: once the the spill has been soaked up, the saturated absorbents can be put in the disposal bags to get rid of them safely.
- Other cleaning items: depending on the type of spill that the kit is designed for, you might also have items like squeegees, plastic trays and gloves. These should be used if available as they make the cleaning process quicker and safer.
What types are available?
Oil spill kits
Designed for use on oil-based liquid spills, these kits are made from hydrophobic materials (ie they repel water). This makes them great for tackling oil spills in damp or wet environments or if the oil has spilled into water, as the pads and socks will not become saturated with water instead of the oil.
Chemical spill kits
These kits include absorbents that are specially manufactured not to break down when in contact with strong alkalis and acids or other potentially caustic chemicals. A good rule to follow is this: if the chemical container has a yellow warning label stating that the contents are hazardous or harmful when in contact with skin – this is the kit to use.
Universal spill kits
Suitable for both water-based and oil-based liquid spills, these kits are a good foundation for your spill response. But as they are not hydrophobic, the pads and socks used in these kits will become saturated very quickly in wet or damp environments.
AdBlue spill kits
These kits are designed for use when tackling diesel emission fluid/AdBlue spills. Due to the aqueous urea solution that is used in these liquids, a particular type of absorbent is needed.
What size do I need in my vehicle?
Factories and manufacturing sites can find spill kits that can deal with spills exceeding 240 litres – but these kits are large and not well suited to carrying in the majority of vehicles. You’ll want to look at smaller kits in the region of 25 or 50 litres, which are usually supplied in small packs, shoulder bags or other compact packaging. You should be able to fit the kit in your vehicle – they can be flattened for storage under a seat, or usually fit in boots or even larger glove boxes.
Why should I carry a spill kit?
If you are delivering, transporting or otherwise using chemicals, oils or other liquids when you are out on the road it is sensible to carry the appropriate spill kit. Spills can be extremely hazardous to health and to the ecosystem and it is your responsibility to minimise the effects of any hazardous spills that occur on your watch. Make sure that your spill kit is restocked or replaced after use.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk