How Spill Kits Work

Spills happen all the time. From spilt tea to more serious spillages of harmful chemicals, a spill can happen at any time, and they happen in most workplaces. 

Some spills can be much more serious than others. A chemical or medical spill, for example, could have some potentially harmful consequences for both people and the environment. Being able to tackle a spill quickly and effectively will help you get the situation under control so you can resume business as usual activities.  

Spills are a common cause of workplace accidents, contributing to the £5.6 bn cost of accidents and injuries at work each year. Careful management of spills is a must to ensure a safe working environment. 

Cleaning a spill in the workplace can be different to cleaning up a spill at home, particularly in settings such as hospitals or laboratories. Using a spill kit will help ensure the spill is taken care of properly, leaving the space safe and hygienic. 

Learn more about how a spill kit works to help you deal with spills quickly and effectively in your workplace. 

What is a spill kit? 

A spill kit contains tools designed to help you control and clear up a spill. As with any spill, the aim is to contain it to stop it from spreading. 

A spill kit will contain all of the items you need to help you tackle a spill quickly and easily. They are found in a number of settings including hospitals, warehouses and plants. A spill kit should help the person using it to stay protected when dealing with a clean-up. 

What are spill kits used for? 

Spill kits can be used for various types of spills, including: 

  • Water  
  • Oil 
  • Bodily fluids 
  • Chemicals 
  • Solvents 
  • Sewage 
  • Fuel 
  • Food products 

In some work environments, a spill kit may not be necessary, such as in your typical office. But for other workplaces where spills are a recognised risk, it’s important to have spill kits easily located on-site to take swift action where needed. 

What does a spill kit contain?  

A spill kit should contain everything that’s needed to control and clean up a spill in the workplace. A typical emergency spill kit will feature: 

  • Sharps bin: used to put in any sharp waste such as glass or syringes.  
  • Biohazard bags: used to dispose of products safely, without risk of breakage or spills. These are also very clearly labelled as a warning to others. 
  • Forceps: used to ensure the person using the kit doesn’t have to touch any of the substance or materials. 
  • Gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): used to protect the person from coming into direct contact with the spilt substance. 
  • Disinfectant wipes: used to disinfect the area after a spill. 
  • Absorbent socks, pads and pillows: these products are used to contain the spill area to stop it from spreading further and to absorb the spill as much as possible to tackle the majority of the spill. 

There are different types of products suitable for different types of spills, including general purpose, oil and chemical pads. You may need multiple types of spill kits if you deal with different substances in your workplace. 

How do deal with a spill  

Every workplace should have its own procedures for dealing with spills effectively. But the following steps can help you deal with a spill where needed: 

  1. Assess the threat and follow any chemical spill control procedures in place to tackle spills 
  2. Locate your emergency spill kit and put on any necessary PPE 
  3. Control the spill to prevent it from spreading any further 
  4. Contain the area and get people and animals away from the location of the spill 
  5. Begin clean-up using the materials found in the spill kit 
  6. Decontaminate the area 

For serious spills and accidents, you may need to contact emergency services and invoke your workplace’s evacuation measures. 

Do you need a spill kit in your workplace? 

Having a spill kit in your workplace can be a useful item to have around, even if your risk of spills is low. For many workplaces, a spill kit will be a requirement outlined in your health and safety procedures and will need to be checked and inspected regularly to ensure the contents are correct and it hasn’t been tampered with. 

If you have to use your spill kit at any point, remember to replace it or refill the contents in readiness for future incidents. 

Professional spill kits from phs

phs Direct can provide you with the equipment and products necessary to help you maintain a healthy and hygienic workplace. We stock a range of spill kits suitable for different work environments, in addition to PPE and other safety products. 

Place your order today to help you keep your workplace safe, or contact us for information and advice about our services. 

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