Sunday, 30 January 2011

Employing Smart Oil Clean Up Methods

Oil spills can cause harm to the environment, resulting in costly fines, and create dangerous slip and fall hazards in your facility. It is therefore important that you have the right spill equipment to control and clean up dangerous oil spills and that you use them in the proper way to get the most out of them, doing this will ensure that you are prepared for any oil spills that may occur in your facility and will help to protect both your workers and the environment.
Choosing the right products
Being prepared and employing smart clean up methods for oil spills begins with having the right spill equipment for your facility such as absorbents, spill kits and spill barriers.
There are many different types of absorbents which soak up many different types of liquids. If you are working with oil you should choose oil-only absorbents which will absorb and retain oils or oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water. Some oil only absorbents contain as well as absorb oil spillages which is an important first step to take when responding to oil leaks so that they don't have the chance to spread and cause a threat to the environment and employee safety. Absorbent socks and booms prove effective at doing this as they are flexible and mouldable to almost any surface and can be used on both land and water to surround oil leaks. Other products for simply containing oil spills include non-absorbent spill dikes and barriers which form tight seals to surfaces and help to prevent oil spills from spreading. Containing spills using these products will ensure that the area to clean up is much smaller and the oil spill will be easier to manage.
After containing oil leaks the next step is clean up. Oil-only spill kits provide a complete solution for containing and cleaning up dangerous oil spills as they contain oil-only absorbent socks, pillows and mats as well as accessories to help you dispose of used absorbents safely. Once a spill has been controlled, oil-only mats, typically available in light, medium and heavy weight versions, and pillows should be used in conjunction with absorbent socks, booms or spill barriers to completely and clean up the spill.
Smart ways to use oil spill products
Once you have chosen the right products it is important that you use them correctly and to their full potential. There are a number of smart ways and situations in which to do this:
  • You should always make sure all absorbents have direct contact with the surface and the oil by clearing all loose absorbents and debris from the surface surrounding the spill
  • Different weights of absorbent mats such as light, medium and heavy weight should be used in different spill situations. Use light weight mats when you have a thin spill over a large surface area, medium weight for general everyday oil spills and heavy weight when you have large spills that need cleaned up quickly.
  • Absorbent pillows should be used in situations where the oil spill is deeper and you need to absorb a lot more oil.
  • Use absorbent socks for absorbing leaks in difficult places such as machines bases, ledges and along drip pans as well as containing and absorbing liquid spills on floors. If you are using multiple absorbent socks and booms to surround oil spills on floors or water, the smart way is to overlap them when placing them end-to-end to ensure liquid doesn't pass through.
  • Non absorbent barriers and dikes should be used when you are looking for a durable spill containment product and if you want to recover the oil that has spilled rather than absorb it.
  • Place oil-only spill kits in every spill prone area in your facility so that absorbents are close to hand and fast effective response can be achieved.
Employing these smart clean up methods and choosing the right products will ensure that you can deal with dangerous oil spills in the best possible way.
For more information on oil absorbents visit or call 0800 919 900