What Size Spill Kit do I Need: A Guide to Meeting Spillage Requirements

Tue, Oct 10, 2023

Whether it be for oil, fuel or chemicals, a spill kit has everything needed to minimise the impact from any spillages of hazardous materials or pollutants quickly, safely, and efficiently. But the question is, when actually is a spill kit required on site?

fluid spill

Are spill kits a legal requirement?

The guidance from the UK government is that a spill kit should be on site, suitable for the pollutants on site, available near where it is stored and loaded. *

If you don't have a spill kit on site, and a spill occurs that could have been contained by a spill kit, The Environment Agency can and will prosecute your business for being able to avoid the spill.**

Businesses should have adequate facilities to contain any liquids to protect the environment from contamination if there is a spillage. This means spill kits to counter different liquid risks including oils and chemicals should be on site where necessary, dependent on where and what liquids are being held.

Do you know which type of spill kit you need when you have determined the liquids you have on site that have a potential risk of spillage?

colour coded spill kits

Which spill kit do I need?

Before choosing a spill kit you need to identify which liquids you need to absorb. Spill kits are typically colour coded as below:

Yellow spill kits: chemical spill kits are colour coded yellow in accordance with the BS 7959 Standard for materials used for the control of spillages including corrosive acids, solvents, and chemicals.

White and blue spill kits: oil spill kits repel water and only absorb oil in accordance with the BS 7959. These spill kits are most effective at cleaning up hydrocarbon spills.

Grey spill kits: general maintenance spill kits absorb all water-based liquids including oil and fuel.

Now you know what spill kit you need; it is time to make sure you know what size spill kit you need and if one is enough!

How many spill kits do I need?

Most businesses know that they should have a spill kit on site when they store pollutants, but often to tick a box for health and safety simply buy a 10 or 20l spill kit. However, this can backfire if there then is a much larger spill that they do not have a spill kit size suitable for.

Have you considered what size spill kit you need based upon how much you are handling and the possible risk of spillage?

Liquids stored in containers less than 200l do not require a spill pallet or a bund, but in the event of a worst-case scenario spill where the entire open drum gets knocked over, a 20l spill kit wouldn’t be able to do much.

If you have multiple locations on-site where less than 200l of liquids and chemicals are stored, having a spill kit at each location is recommended. Having a portable spill kit than comes in a wheeled bin that can be moved quickly can reduce chances of areas being contaminated or damaged by a spill accident.

Oils and chemicals stored in containers larger than 200l need to be stored in a bunded area to prevent a spill if the container ruptures. This can either be a bunded fuel tank, a bunded brick structure that the tank/IBC sits within or if a drum/IBC on a spill pallet. A bund and spill pallet should protect against a full IBC/tank container failure. That however does not protect against all spill instances.

If a forklift were to puncture the IBC whilst moving it on its bund, a spillage could occur out of the bund. Or where someone accidentally pulls a refuelling nozzle trigger when not inside a vehicle fill point, or even a container overflowing. This means having a large spill kit on site near the area would still be sensible.

So, which spill kit would provide most protection against the risk of a spill?

The EnviroSpill Spill Kit Bin

The Solution – The EnviroSpill Spill Kit Bin

The EnviroSpill Spill Kit Bin has everything needed to quickly deal with a spill on a large scale. There are 2 versions of the oil and maintenance spill kit bins, with 120 litre and 240 litre capacity. These emergency spill kit bins include spill socks, spill pads and pillows for absorbing the spillage, along with blue waste bags and ties for proper disposal of the used spill absorbents.

To use the spill kit, wearing PPE where necessary, the user places the spill socks around the spillage to hold and stop the liquid spreading further. Then the absorbent pads are placed on the spill to soak up the liquid. All used materials are then placed into the disposable bags to be safely gotten rid of and disposed.

Getting the right size spill kit will minimise the impact of a spillage on site quickly and efficiently, without risking health and safety and help keep businesses in line with government guidance.

*Pollution prevention for businesses - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

** https://spill-kits-direct.co.uk/about-us/legislation

Looking for an easy solution for cleaning up spillages?

View our EnviroSpill spill kit range to find the perfect solution for dealing with any spillage.