Dealing with spills is a crucial part of your site's health and safety plan, particularly if you store, transport or use oils, fuels, chemicals or other potentially hazardous liquids. There are a number of different products you can use to tackle spills, from proactive ones like bunds and spill pallets to reactive ones like spill kits.
In this article, we will give you the inside information on spill stations: everything you need to know about what they are, what kind of environment they are best suited to, and why you absolutely need one (or more).
A ‘standard’ spill kit contains the absorbent products that you need to deal with a liquid spill. They will usually contain absorbent pads and socks that are designed for a specific use (oil spills for example, or chemical spills), as well as disposal bags.
A spill station is similar but typically larger, and can be easily supplemented with other items that you might need. So, where your spill kit will be a tightly packed bag, satchel or even bin, your spill station will have shelving for your absorbents, space that can be allocated to paper rolls for finishing touches to your cleaning, as well as other cleaning materials like degreasers, detergents and gloves.
You can find spill stations that are wall mountable, models that are designed for static location at strategic spots, and variants that are on wheels for easy movement to the spill site.
You can find spill stations in use at larger industrial sites, where there is a greater need for spill control and response. These stations will usually be located in high-risk areas, so they might be fairly close to IBC storage, drum storage, delivery zones or areas where chemicals/oils are used a lot. Wheeled models are often used where the risk of a spill cannot be reasonably narrowed down to a relatively small number of points around the site, so the response needs to be more dynamic.
Spill stations make it easier to deal with spills. It really is that simple. Keeping all of your spill response equipment in one easily recognisable and accessible spot means that you and your staff will always know exactly where the products are – particularly important in a large-spill emergency.
Another key benefit is that it is a lot easier to take stock of what you have, and by extension what you don’t have. It can be easy to run low on absorbent pads if they are being used from a more standard style spill kit for smaller, potentially unreported spills – keeping everything in one station means that you can see the contents at a glance when you do health and safety or site walkthroughs.
As we mentioned, spill stations can be static or mobile, depending on how your site is set up and the distribution of liquids around the environment. Contents-wise, you have two options: you can get a pre-loaded station and use it as intended, or you can get a spill station and fill it with the types of products that you require.
This means that if you need cleaning products like detergents as part of your spill response you can add them in to your station. Likewise, if you need to stock up on absorbents designed for AdBlue (for example), then you can do so, making your spill station multi-purpose if necessary.
Most spill kits are, by design, highly visible – common designs are bright yellow, for example. This is so that they can be easily spotted and the right type can be identified in an emergency which, depending on the type of spill, could be a panicked, hectic time.