Storing Hazardous Substances with Spill Pallets

It is commonly said that one drop of oil can contaminate up to 1,000 liters of water. Contamination of waters threatens a fine or even imprisonment. But what should be done to prevent this from happening? Every day companies deal with hazardous substances and they are often unsure about what needs to be stored and how it should be stored, so that employees, their facilities and the environment, are safely protected. The following guide answers some important FAQs.

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Spill Pallet Guide - Questions & Answers

How should a spill tray for storing flammable liquids be designed?

Spill trays must be impermeable to the stored liquids and must consist of non-combustible building materials.

For which substances are steel, plastic or stainless steel spill trays suitable?

The material from which a spill tray is made from, must be suitable for the stored liquids. For the storage of water-polluting and flammable substances such as oils and lacquers, steel spill trays should be used. Available in a galvanized or lacquered version.

For storage of aggressive chemicals such as acids and alkali,stainless steel or plastic spill trays should be used. 

The media resistance list as a proven aid

In order to be able to select the suitable material for the spill pallet, it is recommended to look into the safety data sheets of the substances to be stored. There you will find all relevant information about storage and transport.

Our media resistance list also gives you useful information on suitable materials for a wide variety of storage media. The corrosion resistance of the spill pallet materials used as well as their compatibility with the stored substances must be verifiable.

For many chemical substances, spill pallets made of steel (1.0038) can be used. For corrosive substances such as acids and alkali, spill pallets made of polyethylene or stainless steel are required. 

What else should be considered when choosing a spill tray or pallet?

Depending on the intended use, spill trays and pallets must be able to cope with different requirements. Spill pallets with integrated forklift pockets are ideal for safe internal transport with a forklift truck.  

In addition, it is important to consider the collection volume of the tray or pallet, and the spill tray should always be thoroughly tested and certified and compliant with all current regulations.  

What should be considered when storing flammable liquids?

The storage space must be suitable; there must be permanent ventilation, explosion protection and structural fire protection.

What is the maximum height of a spill tray when storing flammable liquids?

A spill tray height of 500 mm must not be exceeded, because then sufficient ventilation is no longer guaranteed. If a higher tray height is required, you can use technical ventilation.

What operator duties apply to spill trays and pallets?

  • The operator is responsible for the intended use.
  • Maintenance / servicing.
  • The spill tray should be kept free from water and dirt.
  • Damage to the surface protection must be remedied immediately (corrosion).
  • Regular exams (at least once a week).
  • The condition of the collecting tray (grids) must be checked every 2 years by inspection.
  • The result must be recorded and submitted at the request of the water authority.

What to do if . . .

... a hazardous substance has collected in the tray?

The spill tray should be subjected to an apparent seal test at least once a week. Remove the hazardous substance properly with suitable absorbents and dispose of safely. 

... something goes wrong?

Soak up the leak with an absorbent that is suitable for the hazardous substance being stored. Also, make sure the shape of the absorbent matches the leak. Absorbents are available in the three versions: oil, universal and chemical. Find the right absorbent for your needs here

... you notice signs of corrosion?

Get an overview of the test certificates and the manufacturer's warranty. If you notice signs of corrosion, the spill pallet should be disposed of in accordance with the law. To perform a general leak test, you can of course just pour water into the tub to check the seal.

... I have to transport my spill pallet?

Many spill pallet models have fork pockets so they can easily and safely be transported by forklift from A to B. Individual models are also available on wheels. If a floor spill tray has to be transported, this can be done on a wooden pallet. In any case, care must be taken that the spill tray is not too full that there is a risk of leakage during transport. If you are required to transport the spill pallets outside the workplace and across public roads, legislation for transporting dangerous goods must be taken into account.