Spill kits are an essential piece of safety equipment for any commercial property that handles hazardous or slippery materials. Although no one intends to cause workplace hazards, accidents happen. It is best to be prepared so that spills can be cleaned up quickly, safely, and thoroughly. Employees should be adequately trained and equipped with the appropriate spill kits. When handling any material spill, it is essential to know what chemicals you are working with, the best type of spill kit for the job, and how to properly utilize the spill kit. Here are four types of spill kits and their uses.
Universal Spill Kit
Universal spill kits are just what they sound like: spill kits used to clean up almost anything. They can be used for non-hazardous spills of things like water, oils, solvents, and more. The absorptive materials they contain are gray in color. If you are not sure of the chemical toxicity of a spilled substance, do not use a universal spill kit. In instances where a spill could be hazardous, a hazmat spill kit should be used.
Oil Spill Kit
Oil spill kits are utilized for cleaning up spills of hydrocarbons or oils. The white absorptive materials absorb oil and repel water. They are extremely handy for things like waterfront oil spills. Materials in oil spill kits absorb oil until they are fully saturated while repelling water.
Hazmat Spill Kit
Hazmat spill kits are used for caustic materials like harsh solvents and strong acids. These yellow kits are designed specifically for aggressive or hazardous chemicals. Be sure to follow the kit’s instructions carefully while containing and cleaning a hazardous material spill. All employees should be trained in how to use available spill kits and what protocol to follow if material is spilled.
Some substances require specialty kits to clean. Working with things like mercury, halogens, or volatile or flammable materials necessitates the presence of mercury or halogen specialty kits or vapor-control absorbents. Before you handle any chemical, know exactly what it is, what its properties are, and how to contain and clean a spill.
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