Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When Oil and Water Don't Mix - Why Oil Absorbents Should Be Part of Your Spill Response Plan

Oil spills can be very dangerous, especially if they happen on water where they have the potential to spread more quickly and cause irreversible damage to the environment. I

f you are working with oils on a daily basis it is important to have the correct spill kits and absorbents to be able to deal with any potential spillages.

Your spill response plan should incorporate different types of oil absorbents to contain and absorb dangerous oils spills whether on land or water.

Oil Spills on land & water.

Oil spillage kits and absorbents soak up and retain oils and oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water. If you have a spill on water, the oil will not mix with the water, it will simply float on the surface.

Whilst damage to the environment is unavoidable, using oil only absorbents on the water surface means that the oil spill can be contained and removed much quicker and easier to minimise the overall environmental impact.

The spill can be effectively contained and removed with oil-only absorbents such as socks, booms, mats and pillows which will absorb the oil but not any water and prevent the spill from becoming a disaster.

If you are working with oils in an outdoor oil storage area, you should also use oil-only absorbents if any spills occur due to the potential for wet and rainy weather conditions whilst working outdoors.

Containing spills that come from oil

To prevent an oil spill from causing damage to the environment and becoming a slip and fall hazard to employees the first step is containment. Socks and Booms that only absorb oil can be used to do this effectively as they are flexible and mouldable enough to surround any type of spill and absorb as well as contain oil spills.

Multiple socks and booms can be overlapped or linked together to encircle larger oil spills using sturdy clips and connecting rings which feature on some socks and booms on the market.

Oil-only socks and booms are easily identifiable in a spill response situation as they are typically white in colour to make absorbed oil easier to see, although some booms are also available in dark grey to hide the absorbed oil and blend in with the surroundings.

Containing and absorbing oil spills becomes quick and easy when absorbent socks and booms are part of your spill response plan.

Cleaning up

Once an oil spill has been contained it then needs to be cleaned up. This stage in your spill response plan should also include oil-only absorbents because although absorbent socks and booms absorb as well as contain other absorbents may be needed to clean up any excess oil.

Absorbent mats and pillows that are water repellent are designed for this type of outdoor spill application. Both mats and pillows float on water so they are easy to retrieve when the oil has been completely absorbed and are white in colour which makes it easier for you to monitor saturation.

Mats and pillows that repel water should be used in conjunction with each other to achieve complete clean up of oil spills so that damage to the environment, stock and employees is prevented.

By : Robert_MacLaren

No comments: