printech, March, 2004
Spill Kit Contents

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From: Gary Jones ( )
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:24:45

FYI - From JJ Keller's Safety Clicks at

Where's the spill kit? And what's in it?

If you work around corrosive materials, do you know where the spill kit is kept? Do you know what's in it? Stay safe by knowing the answers before an incident occurs.

Locate spill kits near areas where they might be needed, and make sure they are easily accessible. Check the kits periodically and re-stock them if they are used.

The contents of the kit should be specific to the chemicals used at your facility. Be sure that your kit includes:
• proper personal protective equipment (PPE),
• appropriate absorbents for the corrosive materials used,
• clean-up and disposal materials, and
• other items for specific hazards.


The kit should always contain PPE necessary to safely respond to a spill. The material safety data sheet (MSDS) for your material will list PPE that should be used. Items commonly included are:
• goggles and a face shield,
• corrosive-resistant gloves and booties,
• disposable lab coat and corrosive apron, and
• appropriate respiratory protection.


All-purpose absorbents are good for spills of most chemicals, including acids and bases. Acid and base spill neutralizers are also available. For some materials, inert absorbents like vermiculite, clay, or sand can be used for cleanup.

Some very dangerous corrosives require special absorbent materials and cleanup methods. Again, read the MSDS to know about these requirements before an incident occurs.

Cleanup materials

The following materials are commonly included in a spill kit:
• a plastic dust pan or scoop,
• plastic bags for PPE waste,
• a plastic pail for spill residues and waste.

Be sure to check the MSDS to:
• determine if your corrosive material is incompatible with certain materials, and
• supply your spill kit with appropriate alternatives.


Some chemicals present unique hazards that require special spill response materials. For example, if hydrofluoric acid is present, calcium gluconate antidote gel should be included in the kit. Mercury also requires special spill cleanup materials. Certain alkali metals may require Class D fire extinguishers.

Responding to a spill

If you are involved in cleaning up or dealing with minor spills of corrosives, remember the following points:
• Check the MSDS for cleanup procedures and hazards of the material.
• Always wear the proper PPE.
• Do your best to safely stop the leak and contain the spill.
• Prevent the material from reaching drains, storm sewers, or ditches.
• Use proper materials for cleanup.
• Follow proper disposal procedures for the resulting waste.

Also, if you have not received training, do not respond to a chemical leak or spill. Instead, follow your company's emergency plan for reporting leaks and spills and evacuating.

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