Let’s do an Ecospill Check

Do you know hefty fines are issued by the Environment Agency for ongoing environmental non-conformity?

An independent assessment of the workplace, followed by a report helps but a basic understanding of spill management still remains necessary. Ecospill stresses the importance of spill assessments and management in the workplace.

With a wide range of market-leading spill management products available through FPS to help companies manage their environmental responsibilities and comply with the law, Ecospill has provided the following guidance on handling spills on site.

Types of Spill Kits

Analysing the liquids and solvents utilised in operations helps decide upon the type of kit required. It is also necessary to recognise the highest potential risk in the area of operation, or if the place needs different types of kits.

The three basic kits available are:

Type Controls spills of Usage
Maintenance, Absorbent Oils, coolants, and other water-based,
non-corrosive fluids
Indoors or areas less prone to
wash down water
Oil only Oil-based liquids/hydrocarbons only Clean up of oil on water; oil based
spills in the rain or snow
Chemical Corrosive chemicals and liquids Corrosive chemicals and liquids

High-Risk Zones

Spill kits are, quite rightly, mostly placed in the obvious areas like laboratories, workshops, chemical storage areas, near generators and fuel tanks, but there is a tendency to forget about the ‘other’ areas of risk.

Any outlet to storm water, like a drain, is a possible spill risk area. Parking areas, truck yards or areas where batteries are recharged risk leakage and may contaminate the sub-soil and ground water. ‘Transport Spill kits’ can be used in vehicles to protect against such an eventuality; these kits have handles, making them easy to manoeuvre in the area of the spill.

Spill Volume

It is always wise to prevent spills from seeping into the storm water system, rather than trying to remediate a spill. Spill kits should therefore be employed in conjunction with containment products. Ecospill advises to check the size and capacity of the largest tank that could rupture and cause a spill. This will give an idea of the size of the spill kit to be used. It is always advisable to use British Standard compliant spill kits with high absorbency capacity.

Spill Assessment

Taking an objective look around, carefully noting the camber of the surface and proximity to the drains is a good place to start an assessment. Better still is to get an expert’s opinion. Whilst most procedures are straight-forward (contain, absorb, remediate), there are situations when an educated response is advised, especially when its nature cannot be fully assessed. Nevertheless, it is wise to always put protective clothing on, place the absorbents where necessary and monitor the spill from a safe distance.

Surveys

Ecospill offers a no obligation ‘Full Site Survey’ with written report to establish and highlight areas of non-compliance that may exist on site. Such surveys are particularly relevant when seeking an ISO14001 or similar EMS accreditation.

The ‘Full Site Survey’ can be followed up with ‘Certificated Spill Prevention and Response Training’, if required.

Log on to F:Drive or contact your local FPS representative for additional information regarding the range of spill kits from Ecospill.

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