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Spill Kits – (FAQs)

1. How big of a spill kit is required?

It depends on the size of the spill. There are several factors worth considering:

  • Will spills be managed by a single kit or multiple kits throughout the facility?
  • What is the largest spill possible (worst-case scenario)?
  • What is the most likely spill to occur? This can/will vary in different areas of the facility.

  • Generally, a spill kit should have sufficient absorption capacity for the largest spill possible that the responders on-site are trained to handle.


    2. What type of spill kit do I need?

    This depends on the liquids that are likely to be spilled. Many spill control kits contain similar items, but there are various types available to provide compatibility with the spilled liquid. The absorbents, tools, PPE, and other equipment in any given kit should address the unique needs of the specific liquids that might be spilled.

    The most common three types of spill kits are universal, oil-only, and aggressive or hazmat. A quick review of each type:

  • Universal – Highly versatile absorbents are typically grey in color and are used in almost all industries. Universal sorbents will absorb all liquids, including water and oil-based liquids.
  • Oil-Only – The most common color for oil-only absorbents is white. They are widely used for oils and hydrocarbons, but are hydrophobic. Because they are hydrophobic, they do not absorb water and are ideal in outdoor applications for absorbing oil off of water.
  • Aggressive / Chemical – Also known as Hazmat sorbents, they are yellow in color and are universal in their absorption capabilities. The yellow color of the sorbents provide a visual indicator to people that a hazardous chemical is present. They are best used for unknown, toxic, flammable, corrosive, and chemical substance spills.

  • 3. What are the typical contents in a spill kit?

    Spill containment kits should contain whatever items are necessary to contain, control and clean up a spill. When considering the types of products to put in a spill kit, it is important to consider the training level of the individuals that will be responding to a spill. The most common spill kits assume responders are individuals with basic spill training.

    The most common items in spill kits include:

  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – Gloves and goggles are worn by the responder to protect them from the spilled liquids
  • Absorbent Socks – Used first and are placed along the outer perimeter of the spill to prevent the spread of the spill liquid
  • Absorbent Pads or Granular – will be used to absorb the majority of the spilled liquid
  • Disposal Bags – Collect and hold absorbed liquids for proper disposal

  • 4. Where should spill kits be located?

    Similar to fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and eyewash stations, spill kits should be placed in areas where they are likely to be needed. They can be stored indoors or outdoors. When stored outdoors, it’s important to choose a kit that is weather-tight and shield the absorbents from UV degradation. If a kit is going to be used for a large area, it is important to consider mobility. A spill rarely occurs directly next to where a kit is positioned, so wheeled kits provide tremendous value in an emergency situation. There are plenty of options available, so it’s important to consider the characteristics of a spill kit when incorporating them into your spill response plan.

    SpillKit.com offers a comprehensive line of spill kits for all types of spills from water, oils, to very hazardous materials and other potential spills.