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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 water threatens a fine or even imprisonment. But what should be done to prevent this from happening? Every day, companies deal with hazardous substances. They are often unsure 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 essential FAQs.

Spill Pallet Guide - Questions & Answers

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

Spill trays must be impervious to the stored liquids and contain non-combustible building materials.

Which substances are steel, plastic, or stainless steel spill trays suitable?

The material from which a spill tray is made 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 alkalis, stainless steel or plastic spill trays should be used.

The media resistance list as a proven aid

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 provides information on suitable materials for various 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.

Chemical stored Concentration Steel 1). 4) S-Steel 2) PE 3)
Acetaldehyde ≤ 40%
Acetaldehyde max. poss
Acetic acid
Aircraft turbine fuel
Ammonium hydroxide ≤ 30%
Ammonium nitrate saturated
Ammonium solution
Anti-freeze (car)
Battery acid ≤ 38%
Benzoic acid
Boric acid ≤ 10%
Brake fluid
Butanoic acid
Butanol max. poss.
Calcium acetate aqueous
Calcium chlorate, aqueous solution ≤ 65%
Calcium hydroxide
Calcium hypochlorite saturated
Chloric acid ≤ 20%
Chlorine ≤ 97%
Chloroacetic acid ≤ 50%
Chromic acid ≤ 20%
Citric acid ≤ 10%
Crude oil
Dichloroethylene max. poss.
Diesel fuel
Ethyl acetate
Ethyl chloride
Ethylene glycol
Ferric (II) sulphate saturated
Ferric (III) chloride saturated
Ferric (III) sulphate saturated
Formic acid
Gearbox oil, (Hypoid), 110°C
Glycolic acid ≤ 37%
Glycolic acid ≤ 70%
Heated steam motor oil, odour free
Heating oil
Hydrazine ≤ 10%
Hydrazine hydrate aqueous
Hydrochloric acid concentrated
Hydrogen cyanide
Hydrogen peroxide ≤ 60%
Isobutyl acetate
Isobutyl chloride
Isobutyl ether
Chemical stored Concentration Steel 1). 4) S-Steel 2) PE 3)
Isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol)
Magnesium carbonate saturated
Magnesium chloride aqueous
Magnesium nitrate saturated
Magnesium sulphate
Menthol solid
Methyl acetate
Methyl acrylate
Methyl alcohol
Methyl chloride
Motor fuel
Nitric acid ≤ 10%
Nitro methane
Oleic acid max. poss.
Petroleum max. poss.
Petroleum spirit
Phenol 100%
Phosphoric acid ≤ 5%
Potassium carbonate
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chloride aqueous
Potassium chloride ≤ saturated sol.
Potassium hydroxide, aqueous sol. 50%
Potassium nitrate 50%
Potassium nitrate ≤ saturated sol.
Potassium phosphate ≤ saturated sol.
Potassium sulphate ≤ saturated sol.
Propionic acid
Salicylic acid saturated
Silicic acid
Sodium acetate
Sodium bisulphate
Sodium bisulphite aqueous
Sodium carbonate
Sodium chloride
Sodium hydrogen sulphate ≤ saturated sol.
Sodium hydrogen sulphide, aqu. sol. 30%
Sodium hydrogen sulphite ≤ saturated sol.
Sodium hydroxide, aqueous sol. 50%
Sodium hypochlorite solution ≤ saturated sol.
Sodium sulphate
Sodium sulphide ≤ saturated sol.
Spirits of turpentine
Sulphuric acid ≤ 78%
Sulphuric acid 95%
Sulphurous acid saturated
Uric acid

1) Painted (WN 1.0038) or galvanized (1.0242) steel
2) Stainless steel 1.4301 (V2A)
3) Polyethylene (PE)
4) Galvanized sump pallets are not suitable for the storage of the following liquids: organic and inorganic acids, sodium bicarbonate, caustic potassium carbonate solution, as well as other alkali hydroxides, chlorinated hydrocarbons, amine, nitro compounds, acid chlorides, and other chlorides, phenol, aqueous alkaline solutions, nitrile.

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 vital 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 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 two 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 it safely.

Something goes wrong?

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

Do 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 following the law. To perform a general leak test, pour water into the tub to check the seal.

I have to transport my spill pallet?

Many spill pallet models have fork pockets that can quickly 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 must transport spill pallets outside the workplace and across public roads, legislation for transporting dangerous goods must be considered.

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