Oil Spill Containment — The Key to Damage Control

Oil spills can cause lots of damage. And depending on location and amount of spilled oil, getting them under control can be a huge challenge. Either way, the key to controlling the damage is to do the right things — and in the right order.

And oil spill containment comes first! Here’s the thing: Cleaning up spills requires a two-step process. I’m sure you know that our first impulse in reaction ot a spill tends to be to go straight to cleaning it u. Unfortunately, doing this could actually make things worse.

It doesn’t even seem logical. How could quick clean-up be bad. Here’s the answer:

Think about a spill scenario. Something spills and you run after it with an absorbent pad or something similar. Guess what happens…

You’ll find that after a while not only have you not made much of a difference, but that the oil has spread — and continues to spread, making your problem worse by the minute.

If the oil spill should happen on water, this kind of dynamic is magnified since oil spreads even more rapidly on water.

So what do you do instead? Stop chasing after the oil and instead focus on containing it so it cannot spread any further.


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You do that by using equipment specifically designed for that purpose and arrange it around the spill. You’ll want to use spill berms or spill dikes if the spill happened on land, and oil booms if the spill occurred on water.

Once you’ve arranged this equipment around the perimeter of the spill, the oil will be contained where it is and you can start with mopping it up. And at that point, you won’t have to be concerned about it spreading any further.

Taking it even further… preventive oil spill containment.

Why wait until the spill before securing the area? You know that prevention is always better than the cure. So if you handle large amounts of oil, why not put some kind of containment barriers in place before there’s a spill.

You’ll save money because you can keep the secured area fairly small. And if there’s a spill, the damage will be comparatively minor too and the oil can be cleaned up quickly, which saves you even more money and it’s safer for the environment too.

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