7 Biggest Mistakes When Emptying Spill Pallets

It is not uncommon for liquids to leak. It can happen at any time- even when somebody storing the container on a spill pallet has done everything right.

But what happens when there is a spill? How does the liquid come out of the spill pallet? This is not as trivial as it sounds: when emptying spill pallets, serious mistakes can happen. Here's what you should not do any circumstances.


1   Not doing anything until it is too late

In the event of a leak, you should take action immediately and without delay. If there is already liquid in the sump, the recommended collection volume can no longer exist. Fast action is needed to counteract health or fire hazards.

Do not panic: safety comes first! First of all, assess the risk posed by the leak and identify the spilled liquid and its quantity. Depending on the risk assessment, the facility may need to be evacuated. If necessary, inform the fire department and other auxiliary personnel.


2   Not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment

Emptying a spill pallet should be done in the same way as cleaning up any other leaks. One of the first steps is to use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These include at least:

  • Safety goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety shoes

Depending on the substance, other equipment such as respiratory or body protection may be necessary. Consult the operating instructions or safety data sheets. 


3   Dumping spill pallets alone

When transporting or dumping spill pallets, there is a significant risk of secondary leaks. You should never move a spill pallet by yourself. Even if several people lift together, the risk of contamination to the environment as well as the safety of employees is too high.

Even if the sump is filled with rainwater, never just dump it! A contamination with previously stored supplies is possible.


4   Draining liquids without a pump

When trying to drain the liquid, secondary leakage can easily happen. Even if protective gloves are worn, an unnecessarily large-scale contact with the hazardous material may occur. It is not necessary to take unnecessary risks.

Instead, use a pump or liquid aspirator to pick up the spilled liquid (if the amount of fluid is small, an absorbent may also be sufficient). Remove the liquid as completely as possible from the spill pallet and then check for any remaining residues. These can be taken up with an absorbent. Then the spill pallet should be thoroughly cleaned.



5  Using the same tool for all materials

Under no circumstance should the same tool (e.g. absorbent) be used for all chemicals. All pumps, liquid aspirators and absorbents must also be suitable for the spilled substance!

Keep the appropriate products in front of you, so that you have the right tool at hand in case of any problems. 


6  Applying unsuitable cleaning agents

Depending on which liquid has leaked, water or a suitable cleaner can be used to decontaminate the sump. However, avoid mechanical cleaning and do not use anything that could damage the sump's material (such as abrasives), as the functionality of the spill pallet cannot be guaranteed otherwise. 


7   Not checking other substances on the sump

Especially after a spill, you should thoroughly examine the substances that you store on the sump. If incompatible operating materials are placed on the bottom of the previous stored product, undesirable interactions may occur. In any case, check that the new substances are compatible.


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