Safeguard Against Costly Spills

EPA states their mission as “to protect human health and the environment.” To ensure this, EPA has the authority to enforce federal laws. In 2014, they levied $163 million in combined federal administrative, civil judicial penalties and criminal fines, and sentenced defendants to 155 combined years of incarceration. OSHA also looks to ensure personal safety. When it comes to slip and fall accidents because of slippery floors, OSHA 1910.22(a)(2) states “The floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.” In 2014, OSHA issued a Georgia company a $27,500 penalty when employees were observed walking on floors soiled and slippery from welding oils. In another example, OSHA proposed a total of $126,000 in fines to an Oklahoma company for its handling of a chemical spill, exposing employees to sulfuric acid during cleanup from a ruptured storage tank.

Avoid spills before they happen
The good news is there are ways to proactively minimize the chance of spills ever happening in the first place. Neither EPA, nor OSHA, specify what type of spill containment equipment to reduce the chance of a spill—only what the safety equipment needs to do (EPA 264.175). Since spills can result from small machinery leaks to damaged drums, IBCs or vehicle saddle tanks, to large-scale fuel tanker ruptures, it’s important to choose products that best fit your needs. Secondary spill containment products generally fall into two groups: structured containment or flexible containment. Use either type for controlling spills from containers of hazardous liquids, and it’s important to remember a spill can be dangerous even from a non-hazardous liquid.

Structured containment products
Structured containment products are constructed of rigid, durable polyethylene and are generally used indoors to safely store drums of hazardous liquids. Spill control pallets and accumulation centers feature a leakproof sump covered by removable grating to make it easy to clean a spill, as well as recapture the liquid if desired. Look for products that are made from recycled content for environmental stewardship. Use structured containment products for drum dispensing operations. Examples include a drum management system with shelves to dispense from horizontally stored drums, as well as a drum dolly with sump to capture incidental spills during filling operations. For outdoor applications, weather-resistant sheds offer secondary containment for up to four drums or a single IBC.

Flexible containment products
Flexible containment products are typically made of durable coated fabric which folds down and stores compactly for easy portability, and sets up quickly for emergencies. Use indoors and out and capture anything from small leaks and drips to large-scale spills up to 5,860 gallons (22,187 liters). For convenient loading of drums or IBCs via a dolly or forklift, leakproof berms come in a variety of sizes and fabrics. Many users customize berms to fit a specific application. Use Rigid-Lock QuickBerms® with patented quick set-up wall support stanchions for drive-in, drive-out capability for heavy equipment and vehicles like fuel tankers. Interior dimensions can range from 4 feet to 20 feet wide by 6 to 56 feet long. Custom sizes are available as well.

Other flexible spill control solutions include:
• Compact, low profile maintenance berms for minor spills or temporary storage of drums, batteries, or leaky machine parts
• Compact, low profile maintenance berms for minor spills or temporary storage of drums, batteries, or leaky machine parts
• Pop-up pools for economical spill containment from 20- to 150-gallons
• Ceiling leak diverters for leaky roofs to protect against slips from puddles, as well as to protect against water damage to equipment or inventory.

In summary, it’s easy to prevent dangerous leaks and spills. Consider spill containment products as your insurance to minimize risks and prevent injuries and fines.

Shop for Justrite secondary containment products at Safety Products Inc!

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