Colour-Coded Spill Kits Keep Workers and Your Facility SafeBack to The PIG® Library
Spill response kits should be provided for every type of liquid that is likely to spill in your facility. Using the wrong spill kit during an emergency spill response situation will mean that the spilled liquid will not be absorbed and the problem will remain unsolved; therefore it is important to distinguish between the different types of spill kit available so that the correct one is used by your spill responders and costly environmental accidents and worker injuries are prevented.
Colour coding spill response kits and spill absorbents is an effective way of making your employees aware of the correct spill response kit to use in an emergency spill response situation. Companies that supply spill equipment typically use coloured labels on their containers or colour code the absorbents inside the spill kit container so that it is easily identifiable what they can be used for. Companies can help you train employees on the colour coding and the proper use of each spill kit in your facility. A good practice is to allow time to be given for spill responders to have regular drills so that they will be ready to respond and use the correct materials. So how can spill response kits be colour coded to make them more easily identifiable for cleaning up a spill quickly? Find out how below.
Ways of colour coding spill response kits and spill absorbents
Some companies in the industrial marketplace provide spill kits for absorbing different types of liquid. Spill kit suppliers typically provide spill kits that are labelled and colour coded according to the liquids they absorb, making it easier for your spill responders to choose the correct kit and respond much quicker in an emergency spill response situation. Different companies use different colours for each liquid. For example, some companies use BLUE labels to identify spill response kits that absorb oils, coolants, and other water-based, non-corrosive liquids; PINK labels for spill response kits that absorb corrosive or unknown liquids; and GREEN labels to identify spill response kits that absorb spills of oil-based liquids only. No matter which spill kit supplier you choose to buy from you will need to make sure employees are aware of the differences between each spill kit so that the spill is cleaned up in the quickest, most effective way.
Some spill kit containers are not labelled and the only identifiable feature to determine the liquids that they absorb is the colour of the spill absorbents inside the spill kit container. The most common types of absorbents found in spill response kits are MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Operations), chemical and oil absorbents. MRO Absorbents are designed for spill responses involving non-aggressive liquids, such as oils, coolants and solvents and are usually coloured grey to identify this. Chemical absorbents absorb aggressive liquids, such as acids, caustics or oxidizers and are typically PINK, whilst oil-only absorbents that absorb petroleum-based liquids from the surface of water and can be used on land-based spills during rainfall are sometimes coloured white or brown.
You should be aware of the liquids that are likely to spill throughout your facility, have the correct spill absorbents to deal with the potential spills and train employees on the colour coding and proper use of spill response kits and absorbents. This will enable faster, more effective spill cleanup and will prevent employees from using the wrong absorbents in an emergency spill response situation.