Chemical Spill Kits - Choose the Right One

Chemical Spill Kit | Compare and Select the Correct Kit

What is a Chemical Spill Kit?

A chemical spill kit is a specialist set of physical materials and equipment that has been specifically designed to deal with cleaning up hazardous substances, from low-level spills to more substantial leaks of chemicals and, including acids and alkalis.

Chemical Spill Kits - Choose the Right One

Using a chemical spill kit helps a business or organisation to align with the expectations outlined in the local hazardous substance regulations e.g. COSHH and pollution prevention guidelines, helping to protect both their own employees and the local environment.

In this guide, we will explain how and why chemical spill kits are used in industrial settings and provide a rundown of the typical types and applications that you can expect to find, including some help on choosing the right kit for your project!

What is a Chemical Spill Kit used for?

Spillage of chemicals or the release of gases, liquids, solids or vapours can occur as a result of the storage or handling of substances during manufacture, processing or transport by road, rail or air.

Chemical spill kits are for use inside and outside for spills, leaks and drips of corrosive chemicals and hazardous liquids.

They absorb acids and alkalis as well as oil, water and coolants.

The chemical absorbents contained in the chemical spill kit are usually made from polypropylene, ensuring excellent chemical resistance, and are the best way of dealing with acids, caustics and other corrosive chemical spills.

Chemical Spill Kit Contents

Typical content of a Chemical Spill Kit includes the following items; your spill kit should contain:

Bins or Bag Containment

A yellow wheelie bin or other bag containment. You must properly label your bin and ensure it’s easily accessible. 

Your wheelie bin must contain a full supply of the rest of your spill kit contents at all times. In some circumstances, you may want to buy your bin and load it specifically to your needs.

Absorbent Pads

These are thin sheets that may or may not be perforated. You will want to use absorbent pads to help address the bulk of your spillage or mess. They also work really well as a towel or rag to clean off items that come in contact with whatever is being cleaned.

You can also fasten these down to the floor to help absorb the everyday materials that might make their way to the floor, making them great for helping to prevent slips.

There is a colour coding system to explain which one does what job:

  • Oil absorbent pads are white
  • Chemical absorbent pads are yellow
  • General purpose and water absorbent pads are black or grey

Absorbent Socks

Socks are the first items you will likely be using for whatever spill you are cleaning up because their main purpose is to contain.

You are going to want to lay these down on the edges of your spill, to put a border between any surface that your spill will likely cross

These socks are flexible tubes made of absorbent material that you should place around the edges of a spill to contain it. Ensure you purchase socks that are compatible with the substances you might spill.

Disposal Bags and Ties

Once you have soaked up the spill, you should collect the used absorbent materials and place them into appropriately labelled disposable bags.

You must have enough disposable bags and ties to hold all the used absorbent materials.

Remember that you must treat used absorbents as you would the substance before it’s been spilt and dispose of the waste appropriately.

Personal Protective Equipment

Protective gloves and Goggles

Personal protective equipment. The last thing you should include in your spill kit is appropriate PPE.

Many chemical spill kits will come with gloves, goggles, for example.

With that said, you must ensure employees have sufficient provisions to protect for your specific circumstances i.e. you may need to add other items according to your risk assessment.

Choosing your Chemical Spill Kit

Below, we break down the 3 main types of chemical spill kit that will be sufficient for most low-medium risk applications. This should help you determine what is required for your own circumstances. For higher risk scenarios e.g. COMAH sites, most comprehensive protection systems are likely to be required.

Spill Kit 1 | Chemical Spill Absorbent Mini Kit

These spill kits are intended for use for minor applications within workplace environment. They very useful for small vans, forklifts, in larger vehicle cabs (kept under or behind the seat) and in storage areas to deal with small chemical spills, approximate absorbency 10–20 litres.

The container is usually a clear plastic snap handle bag and they usually contain, for example:

  • Easy to follow instructions and contents check.
  • Chemical absorbent pads
  • Chemical absorbent socks
  • A disposal bag and tie
  • PPE may be included

Spill Kit 2 | Chemical Spill Absorbent Grab Bag

These spill kits are also highly versatile. For use inside or outside the workplace, for containing and cleaning up all types of chemical spills.

Grab bags can be relocated easily, placed beside specific equipment or alongside other emergency equipment.

Typical absorbency 25–45 litres. The grab bag is usually made from UV stabilised waterproof PVC with a waterproof double zip. They usually contain, for example:

  • Easy to follow instructions & inventory
  • Chemical absorbent pads & cushions
  • Chemical absorbent socks
  • Disposal bag and tie
  • Pair of chemical-resistant gloves
  • Pair of goggles

Spill Kit 3 | Heavy Duty Chemical Spill Kit

250L Chemical Spill Kit

These wheelie-bin style portable chemical spill kits are used where quantities of liquids are stored, delivered or received. The approximate absorbency is usually 125-250 litres.

These kits are very popular in environments such as warehouses, workshops and on construction sites.

They have plenty of capacity for dealing with larger spills and the bin itself can be restocked if supplies become depleted due to a spill response event. Typical contents include;

  • Chemical absorbent pads
  • Chemical absorbent socks
  • Large chemical absorbent sock
  • Chemical absorbent cushions
  • Disposal bags and ties.
  • Personal/PPE safety kit
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