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Do you have a spill response plan?

Being prepared by having spill response equipment on-site is ideal.

But does your business have a spill response plan – beyond “to clean up”…?

Having a written plan can help to remove the panic of “what now?” when accidents happen and things hit the fan. Or liquids start escaping from their container. It also means you have something solid to show environmental agencies re how you’re protecting the environment and the people around your premises from any spills if that need should ever arise.

Basically, your spill response plan outlines:

  • everything that could leak (think drums, containers, tanks, equipment) and the processes that could allow leaks (such as fuel transfer)
  • what procedures you have in place to prevent spills, and  
  • how your business will respond

These processes, procedures and equipment are called “best management practices” (BMPs). Here is an everyday set of BMPs that may help in forming your spill response plan:

a) Drain protection. If you have storage tanks or containers near drains, then the risk of a spill reaching the environment is naturally higher. Making sure you have drain covers on hand means you can seal a drain pronto and thus prevent it hitting the environment.

b) Secondary containment. Secondary containment comes in many forms, such as temporary or permanent barriers and berms around containers, or spill containment pallets and decks under drums. Secondary containment stop spills at their source, and creates a short-term “holding area” for loose, spilt liquids.

c) Spill preparedness. This means having spill response supplies on hand as well as the measures in place (see above) to prevent spills. In the case of “general” water and oil-based liquid spills, PIG Universal Absorbents (matssockspillows and pans) are ideal. If you may run into the situation where you need to absorb oil and fuels, but not water – such as responding to oil spills outdoor either on land and water – then you’ll need PIG Oil-Only Absorbents (in matssocks and boomspillows and pans), and if your business deals with acids, bases, corrosives and hazardous chemical, then you’ll need PIG Hazardous Chemical Absorbents and Neutralizers. Keeping a spill kit (whether universal, oil-only or haz mat) near containers is ideal to be prepared for quick spill response.

d) Training. Having the procedures and equipment in place is only part of the story: your spill response plan must also include training. It’s vital that staff who work near or around anything identified above know how to properly respond to spills. This means knowing where spill response items are and then knowing how to use them.

This is just a basic set of BMPs that could be useful to consider. Your own spill response plan should take into account any regulations you need to comply with as well.

Need a spill kit? Some absorbents? Items for spill control? Or spill containment? We can also help you with storage and materials handling.  

If you have any queries about a spill response plan, please call on 1800 HOT HOG (468 464), or email us for help.