Using and maintaining spill pallets
It is staggering to think of how many drums of oil and chemicals are transported and used each year in Australia. In the agri-sector of the economy alone, one recycling initiative reports that 1.5 million drums were diverted from landfill sites in 2017.
Moving and storing drums containing chemicals can be a high-risk activity if not handled correctly. Many incidents and injuries have occurred when drums are punctured and their chemical contents spill out. It only takes a moment of lost concentration, or an equipment failure, for a serious incident to result leading to injuries and investigations by the authorities
Oils and chemicals need a way to capture a leak from a chemical drum immediately so that the spill never reaches the environment. Spill pallets are the solution to contain drum leaks and spills before an incident escalates out of control.
What is a spill pallet?
A spill pallet is a specially designed pallet with an internal storage space to capture leaks and spills from containers. Australian regulations specify that a spill pallet captures 110 per cent of the volume of the largest container that may be carried on it. Because spill pallets are usually designed for carrying 205 litre chemical drums, they must have a containment volume of 230 litres.
Spill pallets are constructed with tyne holes so that they can easily be lifted and moved using a forklift. This means that a chemical drum only has to be moved onto the ground or workspace when it is being used. At all other times it can remain on a spill pallet, thus protecting the environment from potential spills.
Where can spill pallets be used?
Spill pallets should be used wherever oils and chemicals are being transported and stored in containers. Industries ranging from light manufacturing and workshops to mines and factories can all benefit from the use of spill pallets.
Warehouses are a major user of spill pallets, and they often handle a wide variety of products. The nature of warehouse activity means that they are constantly receiving, moving and dispatching products. Warehouses are a bustling hive of activity with forklifts being a standard piece of equipment for carrying drums. Spill pallets are essential tools for warehouses in order to provide a safety net for any spill or leak that may occur during their daily activities.
Another key user of spill pallets is mines and large industrial sites where operations are spread over a large geographical area. Spill pallets enable companies to create temporary storage locations close to the point where the chemicals will be used.
Examples of industries that use spill pallets are as follows:
- Mining and exploration sites
- Refuelling and debunking locations
- Remote build pads
- Temporary works locations
- Warehousing and storage facilities
How do you clean a spill pallet?
If a spill occurs into a spill pallet, the spill must be cleaned using a spill kit. Once the spill has been removed, the pallet must still be cleaned of any remaining residue. This can easily be accomplished using water and a detergent. Waste water from the cleaning of spill pallets cannot be discharged directly to the storm water. It must be captured and treated along with other effluent water from the site.
On a periodic basis, it is advisable to clean the pallet with steam. The high temperatures involved ensure that all ingrained chemicals and oils are stripped off the surface of the spill pallet.
Why should I use a spill pallet?
Spill pallets are the first line of defence to contain spills before they spread. Capturing a spill makes sure that there is no negative impact on the environment and eliminates the cost of expensive clean ups.
Cleaning up a spill is not the only expensive task associated with environmental incidents. Regulators like the EPA monitor the performance of companies and impose substantial fines for companies that do not comply with environmental legislation.
SpillPro supplies a range of spill pallets designed to protect your company from the damaging consequences of a chemical spill. Our experts can advise you on the best solution for your specific industry and facility. Find out more about spill pallets, or call our expert team on 1800 368 450.
SpillPro on 25 August 2016
Here's how to keep your spill kit functioning as it should with regular maintenance ...Read more