spill kit contents absorbents that are colour coded according to what they can absorb

Oil spill kit contents are used to clean oil and fuel (hydrocarbon) spills in the workplace. Oil and fuel spills are serious. They can harm the environment, increase the risk of falls and accidents, produce harmful gases and may start a fire.

Oil spill kit contents are different from those coordinated for other types of spills in the workplace. This is because oil and fuel are hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon substances contain both carbon and hydrogen. They are most commonly found in petroleum and natural gas and are used to make a variety of things including fuel, diesel, plastics, solvents, lubricants, agricultural products, oil-based paints and other industrial chemicals. When spilled, hydrocarbon properties repel water making them difficult to absorb and clean up.

Oil spill kit contents contain special absorbents that can facilitate the quick and efficient absorption of hydrocarbon-based spills.

Oil spill kit contents

Oil spill kit contents are used specifically to clean up oils, diesel, fuels, solvents and other hydrocarbon-based products and should be the spill kit of choice in the event of any hydrocarbon spill. The polypropylene absorbents in a fuel and oil spill kit are hydrophobic – they will not absorb water. These absorbent pads, pillows and mini booms will float on water to absorb the spill.

oil absorbent booms and pads being used in hydrophobic spill clean up

If a spill kit is in place because of the probability of cleaning up a spill on water, a marine spill kit is the appropriate choice. This spill kit includes larger floating absorbent booms that can be connected inline to form a long barrier. These floating absorbent booms take the place of floor sweeps (which do not work on water).

The other types of spill kits

Chemical spill kits can absorb a wide range of liquids including hydrocarbons and waters, however they are best suited for chemical spills involving acids, caustics and corrosive agents rather than hydrocarbon-based products

General (or universal)  spill kit contents can be used to clean up most industrial spills including some oils and fuels, coolants, water, general workplace chemicals and common agricultural chemicals.

Choosing the right absorbent

One of the most important components that make up an oil spill kit content is the absorbents. Oil spills can be treated with many different types of absorbents and floor sweeps. Akuna Services is a specialist in industrial spills of all nature.

Akuna Services uses the SpilMax range of floor sweeps and polypropylene pads, pillows,  mini booms and wipes. The range is colour-coded for different types of spills. Using the right colour for the right type of spill is crucial in ensuring that spills are effectively attended to.

Here is the correct colour for the right type of spill:

  • White – a component of oil spill kit contents and is used specifically for oil and fuel spills.
  • Grey – a component of universal spill kit contents for general industrial spills.
  • Yellow – a component of chemical spill kit contents and is used for hazardous chemicals like acids, oxides or caustics.

Spill kit contents

A spill kit generally includes absorbent materials, gloves, and contaminated waste bags to collect the used absorbents for disposal. There are instructions in the spill kit that detail how to safely and correctly use the products inside and clean up a spill. The absorbents in the spill kit will be specific to the types of liquids likely to be spilled in the vicinity of the spill kit.

Oil containment booms

Floating oil containment booms can accompany an oil spill kit when situated near water such as stowed on boats or stored at marinas, docks or along shorelines. Floating containment booms provide an impenetrable barrier to deflect and contain spills. They can also be used to manage floating debris. A containment boom can be put in place to stop a spill from spreading and facilitate clean up with absorbents.

Chatoyer oil containment booms are locally manufactured to industry standards and can be deployed in varying water conditions. Containment booms can come in many configurations to suit individual client’s needs from lightweight, easy-to-store-and-deploy fence booms to large, robust units that may require machine-assisted deployment.

Spill management plan

It is important that all companies handling any hazardous liquids on their premises have an efficient  spill management plan to deal with any spill utilising the appropriate spill kit and spill response procedures. Training for staff handling oil and fuel products is important so that they know what to do in the event of a spill.

Quick intervention is important to prevent spill of liquids from entering the stormwater systems and endangering ecology and the local environment.

Spill kit contents must also be regularly checked and maintained to ensure compliance with Section 362 of the Work Health Safety Regulation 2011. Non-compliance can incur a fine of up to $30,000.

If you wish to find out if your spill management strategy is up to standards or if you want to add to your existing oil spill kit contents call Akuna Services today.

Specialising in products for environmental protection and site compliance, we have everything you need to keep the environment and your site, staff and assets safe in case of spills. Akuna also provides a wide range of services including spill response training, stormwater product installation and maintenance and environmental risk assessments.