Liquid Spill Response Training | Clean up Products and Procedures

Once the liquid spill has been assessed, potential hazards to staff and equipment identified and the appropriate PPE equipment provided to your designated responders based on the product’s safety data sheets (SDS) the next step in your spill response plan should be to begin the clean up process.

Liquid Spill Cleaning

Reducing the impact of the spill

The first consideration when entering the area impacted by the spill, after ensuring responders are wearing appropriate PPE equipment and staff safety is assured is to locate the source of the spill as previously identified in the initial spill assessment stage.

The origin of the leak should first be identified e.g. leaking drum or storage container, faulty hose or valve etc. and rectified to prevent the spill from spreading.

The next step should be to prevent the previously spilled liquid from spreading to other areas of the workplace or entering the stormwater network via the drainage system of your workplace (which may result in fines for the business owner) by utilising liquid spill containment products such as:

Spill Assessment

Once you have assessed the liquid spill, including potential hazards to staff and equipment, your next step should be to select the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) for your responders addressing the spill.

PPE Equipment

Once you have assessed the liquid spill, including potential hazards to staff and equipment, your next step should be to select the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) for your responders addressing the spill.

Spill Reporting

Once a spill has been identified, assessed and addressed using the correct PPE equipment and procedures based on the product’s SDS you may be legally obligated to report the spill to your local authority.


Automated Spill Control

For larger or more sensitive operations automated spill control systems such as the CMS600 Fox constant monitoring system can be integrated into the drainage system of the workplace. Products such as these constantly monitor water quality, detect water soluble spills and (in the event of a contaminant being detected) divert all water entering the drain to a holding tank until water quality is restored.

These systems have the capacity to detect a spill, address the spill and alert staff, reducing the overall impact of the spill and saving the business owner time and money.


Clean Up Operations

Once the source of the spill has been identified and addressed the clean up operation should begin. Products and clean up methods will again be dictated by the products SDS. Some of the products you may require include:

Generally when addressing a spill, absorbent pads and wipes should be used to ‘mop up’ the majority of the liquid spill (be careful not to oversaturate items) and particulate sorbents should be used as a secondary measure to address residue.


How to Use Particulate Sorbents

  1. Dust the area containing residual liquid
  2. Work the sorbent into the liquid residue with the assistance of a broom or rake
  3. Ensure the liquid has been absorbed and fully encapsulated
  4. Check that the area is now dry. If residual liquid is still present apply more sorbent to the area and repeat step 2.

Clean up products such as particulate sorbents, pads, wipes and disposable bags will generally be found in your all-purpose spill kit. Any business requiring the storage of liquid products should have a spill kit on site to remain environmentally compliant. Products such as sorbents and absorbent pads and wipes should be readily available for responders. Ordering this type of product after the spill event leaves the business owner open to scrutiny by EPA and potential fines.


Safe Disposal

Once the spill has been addressed the next stage is to safely dispose of the clean up material e.g. sorbents, pads and wipes. Products like these, especially if used to address contaminants cannot simply be disposed of as per regular waste.

Your spill kit will contain disposable bags. All disposable equipment used to clean up the spill should be stored within these disposable bags including the materials used to clean the spill and any disposable PPE equipment and tools used to clean up the spill must be identified as hazardous waste and disposed of appropriately.

Non-disposable PPE equipment should be washed and inspected for any damage e.g. tears, to ensure they are reliable in the event of a future spill.