Spill Kit Inspection Checklist

In the petro-chemical industry, the spillage of oil or other hazardous materials is a very serious matter due to the potential for harm to human personnel, the immediate environment, or both. That’s why it is imperative for worksite managers to ensure that spill kits are readily accessible so they can be used to contain spills in prompt fashion. It’s not just a matter of common sense—on-site spill kits are required by the workplace standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

What Items Should Be in a Spill Kit?

There is no single answer to this question. Spill kit contents can vary widely. In general, they’re tailored to the needs of the site where they are kept. All that is required, per OSHA regulations, is for the worksite to maintain kits that can be used to resolve any spill that might occur in the area. To ensure proper compliance with spill kit requirements, many worksites keep around multiple kits, each with a different set of cleanup tools intended to contain a particular type of hazardous material (e.g., oil, mercury, biological waste).

What Is a Universal Spill Kit?

Although no kit is suitable for every conceivable incident, there is a type of spill kit that has become widely recognized for its usefulness in remediating a broad range of chemical spills and related workplace accidents. This is known as the universal spill kit, and every petro-chemical site should have one. Let’s look at the tools and materials that you should have in this kit.

Universal Spill Kit Checklist

 

  • Eye goggles – These shield the user's eyes from corrosive chemicals.
  • Nitrile gloves – These disposable gloves, made of synthetic rubber, provide strong protection from hazardous chemicals.
  • Shoe covers – These safeguard the wearer's shoes and feet.
  • Absorbent rolls/pads – These absorb and contain many types of chemicals, such as oil.
  • Disposal bag – This is useful for storing all your used cleanup materials until they can be thrown away in compliance with safety regulations.
  • Handbook – This contains instructions on handling each type of spill that can occur on the site.

 

How Often Should You Inspect a Spill Kit?

On a well-managed industry site, spills should be an uncommon occurrence. That’s why a lot of spill kits sit idle for months, sometimes even years. This poses a potential hazard, however, as certain materials in the kit may begin to deteriorate over time, rendering them unsafe or ineffective to use in the event of a spill. You don’t want to wait until disaster strikes to discover that your spill kit is inadequate.

To avoid premature aging of spill kit contents, these containers should ideally be stored indoors—though near the location where the spill would likely occur—and in an environment of moderate temperature. Kits that are exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures will need to be inspected more often than those stored in more proper conditions. With these considerations in mind, it’s a sound idea to aim at inspecting your spill kit at minimum every three months.

What Should You Look for During an Inspection?

Make sure that everything is still there—it’s possible that one or more items were removed and never replaced somewhere along the way. You'll need to have a spill kit check sheet on hand that lists everything that ought to be in the container.

Next, check the individual components of the kit for evidence of use or deterioration. All packages should be unopened. Check the absorbent rolls and pads for white flaking—that’s a sign that the polypropylene in the material is breaking down.

If you need refills or a replacement spill kit, you can always turn to Clean Coast Supply for high-quality equipment that has been designed to meet the requirements of the modern petro-chemical industry. We have an assortment of Hazmat, Oil-only, and Universal spill kits, as well as various complementary accessories at reasonable prices.