Any liquid spill in your facility or surrounding area has the potential to spread very quickly unless it is properly dealt with using the correct spill equipment. If you are working with oils on a daily basis there is the added potential for environmental damage if any spills occur, especially if they happen on nearby waters. It is critical to act fast and respond in the correct way when an oil spill happens on land or water to prevent slip and fall accidents and costly fines from environmental damage. The first step towards being prepared for oil spills is having oil absorbents readily available in or around your facility to contain and clean up oil spills. Find out more about these types of absorbents and spill kits and how they can be the most effective line of defence against spills below:
What do oil-only absorbents absorb?
As the name suggests oil-only absorbents absorb and retain oils and oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water, making them ideal for cleaning up oil spills on water or in outdoor storage areas where wet weather conditions are unavoidable. Water repellent properties of oil-only absorbents maximise efficiency when you only need to absorb oil.
Different types of oil-only absorbents
Effective containment and cleanup of oil spillages on land and water can be achieved by using different types of oil absorbents such as absorbent mats, socks, booms and pillows. Oil-only socks and booms are flexible and mouldable enough to contain oil spills before they have the chance to spread and also absorb the oil. Multiple socks and booms can be overlapped or linked together to surround larger oil spills on land or water. Other oil absorbents like mats and pillows should be used in conjunction with absorbent socks for complete containment and absorption of the oil spill. All types of oil-only absorbents float on water, even when fully saturated, to make it easier for you retrieve them and identify when absorbents have reached their full capacity.
Oil-only spill kits - a complete solution
If you require a combination of different types of absorbents for potential oil spills then an oil-only spill kit provides an effective solution. Oil Spill kits contain everything you need to contain and absorb oil spills on both land and water, including socks, pillows and mats as well as accessories to help with safe disposal. The quantity of absorbents inside your oil spill kit will differ depending on the size of kit you choose which should be determined based on your worst case scenario spill. You could choose a large spill kit to deal with the entire spill that is likely to happen or you could combine multiple smaller ones to absorb the same amount whilst gaining the flexibility and mobility you can get from choosing smaller kits.
Colour coding of oil-only absorbents & spill kits
As oil absorbents and spill kits can be your first line of defence against oil spills it is important that they are easily identifiable so that spill responders can gain fast, easy access and act quickly to contain and clean up any oil spills. Some companies colour code their absorbents depending on the liquids that they absorb to make this possible. The most common colour of oil absorbents is white which alerts workers, makes absorbed oil easier to see and allows you to determine when the absorbent is completely saturated and needs changed out. Some companies provide alternative colours for some of their oil-only absorbents, such as brown absorbent mats and dark coloured booms which blend in with surroundings to make them less noticeable and help to hide the absorbed oil. Oil-only spill kits typically contain white absorbents and are colour coded green by the label on their container so that they are easily identifiable and improper use is prevented.