The 7 biggest mistakes when emptying spill pallets

It is not uncommon for liquids to leak and it can happen at any time- even when somebody storing the container on a spill has done everything right.

But what happens when there is a spill? How does the liquid come out of the collecting tray? This is not as trivial as it sounds: when emptying spill pallets, serious mistakes can happen. Here's what you should not do any circumstances - and how to do it right.

1   Doing Nothing

In the event of a leak, you must take immediate action, but do not panic.. safety always comes first.

The first thing you need to do is assess the risk posed by the leak, and identify any spilled liquid and its quantity. Depending on the risk assessment, you may need to shut off and/or evacuate the area. If necessary, inform the fire brigade and any other auxiliary personnel.

To be quickly informed about leaks, we recommend using a hazardous substance SpillGuard® warning system. This innovative alarm system warns against any leaks via its loud beeping and flashing LED lights. 

2   Not wearing appropriate protective equipment

Emptying a spill pallet should be done in the same way as cleaning up any other leaks. One of the first steps is to use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These include at least:

  • Safety goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety shoes

Depending on the substance, other equipment such as respiratory or body protection. Consult the operating instructions or safety data sheets. 

3   Transporting and Dumping

When transporting or dumping there is a significant risk of secondary leaks. Therefore, you should never move with the truck or by yourself. Even if several people lift together, the risk of contamination to the environment as well as the safety of employees is too high.

Even if the sump is just filled with rainwater, never just dump it! A contamination with rests of previously stored supplies is possible.

4   Drain the liquid with containers

When trying to drain the liquid it can easily happen where secondary leakage is created. And even if protective gloves are worn, an unnecessarily large-scale contact with the hazardous material may arise. It is not necessary to take unnecessary risks.

Instead, use a pump or liquid aspirator to pick up the spilled liquid (if the amount of fluid is small, an absorbent may also be sufficient). Remove the liquid as completely as possible from the drip tray and then check any residues have remained. These can be taken up with an absorbent. Then the drip tray should be thoroughly decontaminated / cleaned.

5  Using the same tool for all materials

Under no circumstance should the same tool (e.g. absorbent) be used for all chemicals. All pumps, liquid aspirators and absorbents must also be suitable for the spilled substance!

Keep the appropriate products in front of you, so that you have the right tool at hands in case of any problems. 

6  Unsuitable cleaning agents applied

Depending on which liquid has leaked, water or a suitable cleaner can be used to decontaminate the sump. However, avoid mechanical cleaning and do not use anything else that could damage the sump's material (such as abrasives), as it's functionality of the spill pallet can not be guaranteed otherwise. 

7   Do not check other substances on the sump

Especially after a spill, you should thoroughly examine the substances that you store on the sump. If incompatible operating materials are placed on the bottom of the previous stored product, undesirable interactions may occur in the worst case. In any case, check the new substances are compatible.

Consider proper disposal

If hazardous materials leave the premises, safe transport must be guaranteed.

Information is given by all certified waste disposal companies but a temporary collection of long oily absorbents can be made in ASP containers. These are single-walled or double-walled, hot-dip galvanized tanks.

To our ASP Containers

The technical information on this page has been prepared carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS can not assume any warranty or liability whatsoever, whether contractual, tortious or in any other way, for its timeliness, completeness and accuracy neither by the recipient of this magazine nor third parties. The use of information and content for your own or other purposes is at your own risk. In any case, observe the local and current legislation.

Need more information or advice? Call 01952 700 567 to speak to a DENIOS expert.