Is spill containment required?

Is spill containment required? The short answer… Yes.

If your company needs to work with hazardous or dangerous chemicals such as oil, there is always the possibility that leaks and spills may occur causing a great deal of damage to both your business and the environment. It may also be toxic or reactive and can be difficult to clean up.

It is also a legal requirement for companies to have spill containment kits to prevent damaging the surrounding area. If you are found to be negligent not only will you be prosecuted by not complying with these laws, but you will be fined.

Secondary Spill Containers

A Spill Pallet is a bunded secondary containment item that is designed to hold chemicals in drums, IBCs or containers. When the containers are filled with flammable liquids or chemicals, it is important to protect them from any kind of leakage. The spill containment pallets are usually made from medium-density polyethylene. Most models include a removable grid for easy cleaning.

Spill Kits

A spill kit is an emergency stock of absorbent materials used to clean up spills of any liquid. Spill kits which contain materials that can easily absorb chemicals are an effective containment measure.

Every business handling, storing or transporting liquids has a duty of care to have spill kits located nearby in the case of an incident as well as the appropriately trained members of staff to control the spill safely.

Regulations

England

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001

Oils covered by these regulations include petrol, diesel, vegetable, synthetic and mineral oils. They apply to most industrial, commercial and institutional sites storing oil in containers over 200ltr and to private dwellings with containers storing more than 3,500ltr. They do not apply to the storage of oil in a container which is situated in a building or wholly underground, this does not mean you don’t have to comply with other regulations such as COSHH and the Water Resources Act.

Scotland

The Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011

These regulations apply to any kind of oil including petrol, diesel, mineral oil, heating oil, lubricating oil, waste oil, vegetable and plant oil but don’t include uncut bitumen. They apply to the storage of any volume of oil, with more prescriptive requirements applying to industrial, commercial and institutional sites storing oil in containers of 200ltr and over stored both indoors and out and to private dwellings with containers storing more than 2,500ltr of oil.

Northern Ireland

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010

Oil is interpreted as any kind of oil including petrol, diesel, waste, vegetable and plant oil, but does not include uncut bitumen. The regulations apply to above ground oil storage facilities on industrial, commercial and institutional residential sites. They also extend to companies who refine or distribute oil. The regulations set minimum design standards for new and existing above ground oil storage facilities, codifying existing good practice to ensure that above ground oil storage facilities are adequately constructed. A key requirement of the regulations is for the storage container to have a secondary containment system (a bund, which is an outer wall or enclosure designed to contain the contents of an inner tank, or, a drip tray) to ensure that any leaking or spilt oil is contained and does not enter the aquatic environment.

Wales

The Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Oil Storage) (Wales) Regulations 2016

These regulations do not apply in a case where oil is stored in any container which has a storage capacity of 200 litres or less or which is situated wholly underground (unless the container is situated within a building). They set standards for oil storage facilities which aim to prevent the escape of oil and the resulting risk of water pollution and damage to land and property. The main requirement is for secondary containment, for example a bund or wall around the tank, to prevent any leaks from an oil storage facility escaping into the wider environment. These requirements apply to all oil storage facilities installed from 15 March 2016. The regulations include agricultural fuel oil storage facilities, which had been covered by the Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil Regulations 2010. This ensures a common standard applies to all oil storage in Wales, but removes an existing exemption for such facilities where they were in use before 1991.

Whether your business deals with a large or small volume of liquids onsite, our spill containment and spill control products are designed to help you stay compliant with the latest UK regulations and keep workers and your business premises safe.