Things that make you go Boom – Again!

Published : 13 Apr, 2017

Many years ago I described an incident in Environews where a client was supplied with a spill kit that was labelled “Universal Spill Kit”. The Macquarie Dictionary definition states that universal means “extending over all (subjects or things) without exception”. In this case the subjects or things are spills. In this case a reasonable person would assume that a Universal Spill Kit was suitable for all spills. The spill kit was found to contain organic absorbent yet had been recommended by the supplier for a chemical which was both a Class 5 and 8 Dangerous Good. Had the client actually put organic absorbent on a spill of this chemical the resulting reaction would generate heat and liberate hydrogen resulting in BOOM!

I was recently conducting an Environmental Site Inspection at a Hospital and found that the Universal Spill Kit had made a comeback. Once again the “Universal Spill Kit” contained mainly organic absorbent which limits the range of chemicals that can safely be treated by this kit. Such a label is potentially dangerous to the user.

This risk has been identified by the AusSpill Association (an association of reputable spill response manufacturers and suppliers) who have selected the three standard designations for spill kit as:

  • General Purpose
  • Oil and Fuel Only
  • Hazchem

In tandem with these designations there is now a distinctive lime green spill kit colour with the lid colour denoting the type of kit – General Purpose ( Grey); Oil and Fuel (white); Hazchem( yellow). These lid colours conform to the British Standard BS 7959-3:2007 “Materials used for the control of liquid spillages – Part 3 Colour coding of sorbent materials” which specifies absorbent colours under the above designations.

We expect all spill kits to eventually conform to the industry standard provided by AusSpill Association.

This will reduce the risk that inappropriate spill kit selection that might make you go BOOM!

Contact us to discuss how this may be implemented at your site.