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What Spill Control Products Does Your Workplace Need?

spill control productsIs there anything less exciting than spill control products? How much can you say about sorbent materials? Well, more than you’d expect, actually.

Today, spill control products are more sophisticated than ever. They’re much more than the oversized, oddly shaped cotton balls they appear to be.

In fact, spill control products are tailor made to absorb different kinds of spills. Understanding what kind of spill control product you’re using is important because choosing the wrong kind of spill clean up product can be dangerous.

In this blog post, we’ll briefly overview the main types of spill controls products on the market.

Spill Control Products for Oil and Petroleum

Some spill control products are designed to absorb oil and petroleum spills. (They also work well with lubricants, mineral oils and vegetable oils.)

While these sorbents are made from a variety of materials, they’re designed to absorb oil and petroleum while repelling water. This allows users to soak up oils without the sorbent becoming saturated with water or other liquids—which is especially important when cleaning up spills in outdoor environments.

In addition, many of these sorbents also float on water. (You’ve probably seen them in news footage of oil spills.) They are used to cordon off oil and petroleum spills and prevent them from spreading on bodies of water.

Typically, these sorbents are white in color. This makes it easier to see when they’re saturated and need to be replaced.

Spill Control Products for Hazardous Liquids

Hazardous liquids include all kinds of toxic and corrosive chemicals, such as battery acid. These sorbents are often brightly colored (typically yellow) to distinguish them from general purpose sorbents. The color identifies the spill as hazardous and serves as a visual reminder to dispose of the sorbents properly.

Spill Control Products for Non-Hazardous Liquids

General purpose sorbents are used to clean up non-hazardous spills. Some general purpose sorbents contain cellulose and may generate heat or create other unwanted reactions if they come in contact with corrosive liquids. Always check labels and instructions carefully.

For more information on the containment of workplace spills, see the article Spill Containments/Absorbents in Safety+Health Magazine.

What Kind of Spill Control Products Do You Need?

As you might expect, determining the kind of spill control product you need starts with a hazard assessment. It will reveal whether you need sorbents for water, oil, hazmat materials or other liquids.

As part of your assessment, also consider what shapes of sorbents you should keep on hand. For example, sorbent pillows are used for large spills, socks for placing around the base of equipment and drums, and rolls for covering large areas.

If you need an assortment of sorbent shapes and sizes, consider buying a spill kit. Spill kits contain a variety of sorbents for a specific hazard (e.g. general purpose, hazmat, oil) as well as protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and disposable bags.

Don’t wait for a spill to happen before ordering sorbents. Remember, OSHA states that employers are responsible for keeping floors clean and dry to minimize the risk of slips and falls.

Spill Control Products at Select Safety Sales

At Select Safety Sales, we carry universal sorbents, hazmat sorbents and oil-only sorbents as well as a selection of spill kits.

If you have questions about any of our spill control products, don’t hesitate to ask! You can email us at sales@selectsafetysales.com, call (866) 864-3495 or use online chat.

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