How to deal with fuel spillages

The significant environmental risks associated with fuel spillages mean that the need to prevent and effectively manage fuel spills is critical for any business operating in the construction and building industry.

When fuel and other pollutants escape into the environment (either through the surface water drainage system, direct run-off into a watercourse, through soil or soakaways, drains, or even through the sewage systems), it can cause serious harm to water, land and natural habitats – posing a risk to the health of people, animals and wildlife.

It’s not just the environment that pollution can damage. Fuel and oil spills can also be costly and damaging to the business that caused the spill. Aside from any clear up costs and potential fine, or other sanctions that the Environment Agency may impose, a spill can seriously harm a business’s reputation.

That’s why having the correct equipment to deal with a spill – and knowing how to use it – is essential. Bull supply the construction industry with a range of spill control equipment and our team of friendly and knowledgeable advisers are always happy to discuss the options available.

Prevention (of a spill) is better than cure

Working in a way that puts the environment at the heart of operating procedures, and taking appropriate measures to prevent a spill is essential.

This is the crux of the message in the Pollution Prevention Guidelines from the Environment Agency for England and Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The document is a good practice guide on how to deal with spills.

Pollution risk assessments are a fundamental first step for identifying and managing the risks involved.

Safe and secure storage facilities (which meet all relevant legal requirements), as well as suitable staff training and fuel management procedures all help reduce the risk of a fuel spill.

How to clear up and deal with a fuel spill

The size and nature of the spill will dictate the response required, so the bigger the potential spillage the more absorbent materials you will need.

In the event of a spillage, we would also advise you to consider the following questions, to be aware of the cause and effects;

Can the source or cause of the spill be identified? Is there a risk to human health? Can it be stopped and contained? Do the emergency services need to be involved? Does the Environment Agency need to be informed? Is support from a specialist Spill Responder required to help clean up?

The speed and effectiveness of the first response will often be dependent on having the right spill control equipment on site. For example, having the right type and quantity of absorbent pads to soak up the spill can help keep a spill under control, clean it up, and limit the impact on the environment.

Why use hydrophobic oil spill kits for fuel spills

Bull’s range of spill absorbents have been engineered to cater for all types of spill risk and it’s important to select the most appropriate kit for the spill involved.

For fuel and oil spills, Bull’s oil-spill absorbent pads have been specifically designed to help protect water sources and the environment. The hydrophobic fibres in the pads actively repel water, whilst absorbing all oil and fuel.

Maintenance grade pads are suitable for everyday spillages including oils, fuels, solvents, cutting fluids, mild acids and alkalis, or even food spills such as milk and wine, but unlike our oil spill pads, these pads don’t separate oil (or fuels) from water.

Further support

If the size or nature of the spill means that specialist support from a qualified Spill Responder is required, it’s good practice to check the credentials of the business to verify their suitability and experience.

UK Spill’s accreditation scheme is approved by the Environment Agencies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and gives users peace of mind that the businesses registered have been inspected and assessed by an independent Scheme Assessor.

Specialist advice from the industry experts

At Bull, we supply the building and construction industry with expert advice and specialist equipment.

For more information about our spills kits and to discuss the options available for your business, talk to one of our team of knowledgeable and friendly advisors on 01432 806806 /