Seven of The Best Absorbents for Your Industrial Facility

A variety of absorbents are available to absorb water, petroleum, and chemical-based spills that occur at your facility. They are available in a choice of sizes and styles to handle your cleanup needs and are manufactured from the highest-quality materials to provide consistent absorbency and reliability.

Here are the main types of absorbents you can use to handle industrial spills:

  1. Absorbent pads and mats – most are equipped with a dimpled surface for cleaning up water-based liquids, chemicals, and petroleum, while some are specifically oil-only pads.
  2. Absorbent socks – they surround a spill to prevent fluids from spreading and come in four-, eight-, and 12-foot sizes to be molded around an area. They absorb most water, petroleum, and chemical-based fluids and can absorb up to 384 ounces.
  3. Absorbent pillows – big spills can saturate a mat in seconds, but absorbent pillows soak up liquid by the gallon. With large surface areas, they pull up liquids like a sock, clean up spills like a pad, and are ideal for any location, including hard-to-reach areas. Smaller pillows can catch 84 ounces while larger pillow catch 256 ounces of liquid.
  4. Absorbent wipes and wipers – for small jobs and cleanups, wipes and wipers are made of four-ply nylon and sold in packs with 50 wipes each and can be used to wipe spills from leaky machines.
  5. Absorbent safety mats – keep a work area safe by rolling out an absorbent mat that protects against equipment leaks. Mats absorb up to 39 gallons of liquid and can be spread over a large surface area. They stand to foot traffic, absorb all kinds of liquids, and can be used under machinery and in walkways to keep employees and visitors safe.
  6. Drip pans – polyethylene drip pans stay under a leak and won’t splash or spill. They absorb nearly a gallon of liquid.
  7. Boom absorbents – contain and absorb aqueous-based spills on land and oil-based spills from land and water. Universal booms are suitable for acids, caustics, oils, coolants, and solvents, while oil-only booms absorb hydrocarbons, oil, gasoline, and hydraulic fluids.

The absorbents you select will enable you to clean up industrial spills. From mats, wipes, and drip pans to socks and solidifiers, keep the materials readily available for cleaning up water-based fluids, petroleum, and other chemicals.

Spills occur anywhere at any time, so preparation is the key, and these absorbents will protect your workplace, prevent falls, and accidents and keep your workplace safe.

Look online for sites that provide all kinds of absorbents and spill response kits from the top manufacturers at affordable prices. You get absorbents that are designed to quickly absorb oils, water, coolants, solvents, and even more aggressive chemicals, such as acids and bases.

Which Spill Kits Should a Chemical Handling Plant Have on Hand?

Each chemical handling plant has a unique composition of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals in various states, so the spill kit requirements of each plant are also unique, but there are general guidelines to follow when deciding how to appropriately stock a spill kit.

The following items should be included in the spill kits a chemical handling plant should have on hand:

  • A high-density polyethylene bucket with top (5 gallon or larger) acts as a receptacle for chemical resistant bag liners during a spill clean-up.
  • Personal protective equipment (safety eyewear, gloves, aprons, shoe covers, and lab coats). Note: no gloves are chemical proof, but nitrile, neoprene, and butyl rubber gloves are the most effective. Latex gloves should not be used.
  • Neutralizing and treatment materials (type and quantity are dependent on the plant’s chemicals).
  • Clean-up tools such as dustpan, scoop, and brush should be chemical resistant and non-sparking. Polypropylene tools are available.
  • Chemical resistant bags – All spill residue and spill clean-up material needs to be placed in a high-density polyethylene or polypropylene bag with attached hazardous waste tags.

Spill kits for chemical handling plants will handle these spills:

  • Acids spills – Sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, and commercial kits designed for acid spills are sufficient for neutralizing many acids.
  • Alkali spills – Citric acid, sodium bisulfate, and commercial kits designed for alkali are sufficient for neutralizing many bases.
  • Solvent spills – Commercial solvent treatment materials may be used to reduce vaporization and raise the flash points of some solvents.

Look online for spill kit vendors that offer kits that can be used by chemical handling plants. Spill kits come in sizes and configurations to meet all needs and will absorb most water, petroleum, and chemical-based fluids. They are available in universal, oil-only, and hazardous liquid absorbent options that work for any spill, big or small.

To view the different types of Spill Kits that Spill 911 offers, click here.

OSHA Electronic Reporting Deadline is Set for Next Week

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) implemented a new electronic reporting system to report injuries and illnesses back in August. It announced in a release last month that employers had until December 15, 2017 to comply with the new electronic reporting standards in order for them to have enough time to become familiar with the new system, known as the Injury Tracking Application (or ITA).

OSHA’s new policy, which it hopes will improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information they are already required to keep under existing OSHA regulations.

There are some exceptions to the new policy. Unless an employer is under federal regulation, certain states have not yet adopted the requirement for electronic reporting to the ITA. Those states include California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In addition, state and local government establishments in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey and New York are not currently required to submit their data through the ITA either.

OSHA says it is still reviewing it’s final rule on tracking workplace injuries and illnesses and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.

To read the full news release from OSHA, click here. For information on the ITA and submitting information electronically to OSHA, click here.

When Should You Use Loose Absorbents?

When there is an oil spill, discharge of battery acid, oil leak, or any other hazardous material that has spilled, then the safest way to clean up such a spill is with loose absorbents. These particular types of heavy-duty cleaning products will help prevent property damage, loss of life, and exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Loose absorbents are your best bet when dealing with a hazardous waste spill, especially when it is windy or rainy.

Instead of using clay, which can be cumbersome, difficult to transport, and even harder to work with and then dispose of to stabilize a spill, first responders who deploy loose absorbents when attempting to clean up a hazardous waste spill are making a wise and safe choice. Generally, loose absorbents work great on oils, coolants, solvents, water, fuels, and antifreeze. They are non–toxic, non–hazardous, virtually dust–free, non–abrasive, incinerable, fire resistant, and wind resistant while at the same time remaining renewable and resource based. Because this type of absorbent is wind resistant and easy to clean up and dispose of, it makes for a much safer environment; hazardous waste spills are dangerous enough, but with the ability to cancel out at least part of a windy condition, loose absorbents make a very tough and dangerous job slightly more palatable.

Loose absorbents are the key to containing a hazardous waste spill; it makes it safer for the environment and for all of those involved. These particular type of absorbents have been used when flammable liquids have spilled from container trucks onto highways and bi-ways, during industrial spills, and with large catastrophic oil spills. In windy conditions, loose absorbents are helpful in keeping hazardous material from expanding or becoming airborne; unlike many different types of spill cleanup materials, loose absorbents do not wilt under the pressure of sudden winds or rain.