Education & Training

Success in Environmental Stewardship Must Prioritize Spills Management

A great Environmental management plan must be all inclusive of the issues that can lead to environmental degradation and the plan must be implemented in all phases of an ongoing project. This plan must also consider occurrence of leakages in the operation sites and the preventive measures that must be undertaken to prevent oil spillages. Techniques used to prevent environmental contamination include use of special banding materials and use of absorbents where accidental leakages have occurred.

Spills Management Techniques

Successful prevention of contamination of land and water bodies is based on proper identification of the required absorbents and the use of tools and materials which are best for the particular contaminant. The most important techniques include;

  • Containment; this is the practice of isolating the leaked off material and holding it in enclosure until disposal is possible. It is usually the first move that must be made when accidental spillages occur.
  • Chemical substances are also used to manage the impact of spills especially to prevent contact with water bodies. Chemical dispersing compounds are used to prevent spilled oils from reaching water bodies through actions such as dispersion and gelling of the leaked oils to reduce their flow rate towards water bodies.
  • Natural environmental processes such as evaporation, biological degradation and even oxidation assist in reducing the impact of spillages. However these processes are slow and may be improved by using absorbent materials, bulldozing and even pressure cleaning of surfaces.

Absorbents in Prevention of Environmental Contamination

Types of absorbents; various types are available in the market and can be classified according to their functionality. These are;

  • Oil and petroleum absorbers. These are hydrophobic in nature and used to absorb oil where water is present. Currently, oil spill kits are available for handling petroleum based spillages which have very huge negative impact to the environment if poorly managed.
  • Chemical Absorbers; used for handling highly toxic chemicals and a wide variety acids and alkaline leakages.
  • General purpose absorbers; Used for a absorbing a wide range of industrial liquids and oils.
  • Floor sweeps; generally made from inert cellulose material and used to clean contaminated floors and stored securely awaiting disposal.

Considerations When Determining Spillage Kits to Use Include;

  • Materials of manufacture; Durable plastic material is recommended.
  • Ultraviolet stabilization: prevents degradation effects of light and heat.
  • The load capacity of the drums; Likelihood of the material to crumble when it soaks in leaking substances.
  • Size of the kit. It must hold at least 110% of the volume of the largest container being placed on top of it.
  • The kit must be close to the size and arrangement of the drums /containers that it holds. Protruded edges may cause accumulation of rain water inside causing crumbling.

Spill kit service providers ensure that all these factors are evaluated when determining the best method to manage spillages.

Care of Spillage Equipment

It is always crucial to ensure that the leakage prevention equipment are in perfect conditions all the time. To ensure that your organization has proper guidance and equipment in place for preventing spillages, spill kit maintenance services are available from organizations such as This ensures updated stocks are always in place, supplies are available once these stocks are used and professional advice is always available to guarantee proper environmental stewardship.

Lori Charles
Lori Charles
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