Preventing spills in the workplace

There are many businesses who handle potentially hazardous substances every day. A leak or spill can be devastating for the environment, the health of employees and can prove costly for the organisation. It is therefore essential to train staff to prevent such spills or leaks in the first place. Here are some important preventative steps a business can take:

  • Chemicals stored in secure areas

Any chemicals stored outside should be contained in a covered environment. Ideally, containers should be air and watertight but at the very least, stored away from the ingress of rainwater. If rain gets into the storage, it can increase the volume of hazardous liquids, making a spill or leak more likely. The spill or leak is also more likely to spread over a larger area making clean up more difficult. For advice on Chemical Spill Kits, go to

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  • Secure shelving

When chemicals are stored on shelving, the shelving system must be secure and steady to reduce the chance of containers falling or toppling and spilling onto the floor and staff. Lips or raised edges along the shelving act as an additional safeguard, as does fixing the shelving to the wall.

  • Avoid overcrowding

Storing too many containers in one area raises the risk of them getting knocked over. It also makes it harder to ascertain which material has been involved in a leak or spill when too many containers are crammed into a small space.

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  • At eye level or below

Heavier containers should be stored as near to the floor as possible. Any chemicals should be stored no higher than eye height and ideally, below this level.

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