What are spill berms and do you really need them? Despite their funny name, spill berms are a crucial part of any safety maintenance program. And yes, you need them, at least as long as your job has anything to do with chemicals and liquids that can spill. And if you’re reading this, chances are it does.
Spill Berms — what you need to know about them
1) What the heck are spill berms
Spill berms are basically mobile barriers that allow you to contain spills of liquids and other substances that can spread. That’s why they’re also referred to as spill containment berms, and even as spill dikes. You basically arrange them around the spilled substance.
2) Benefits of spill berms
They’re very practical because even though they can be used for large spills, they’re collapsible and relatively easy to store when not in use. And that’s important because you need to have them handy in a lot of places, so they can be deployed right away if there should be a spill.
3) Why do you need spill berms?
You need spill berms because cleaning up spills is generally a two-step process. You can’t just start throwing absorbents at a spill, at least not unless it’s a very small spill.
Sure, if you’re dealing with a small leak or a few drops that spilled while you transferred a chemical from one container to another, you can just use a spill pad to wipe it up. But if you’re dealing with a regular or large-sized spill or leak, you need to contain the liquid or spill first before you do anything else. That’s necessary to make sure it doesn’t spread. The good news is that by containing the liquid, you also contain the problem.
4) Then what?
Of course, once you have contained the liquid, you can start mopping it up. And you should, and quickly too. The tools of choice for that part of the process are absorbents. And there are a lot of different options when it comes to absorbents, from spill kits to booms to pads and many more.
5) Which kind of spill berms should I get?
When it comes to spill berms, you have a lot of choices. Which ones are best depends a great deal on how big a spill you may have to control.
Spill Berms – More Decisions
You also need to decide whether you want a berm that is very lightweight and easy to transport, or whether you want a bigger, more sturdy one.
The advantage of the lightweight spill berms is that you can keep it with you in your car or truck, which means you’ll have it handy should you happen upon a spill that needs to be contained. You can just get your spill berms from your car or truck and you’re in business.
On the other hand, you might often need larger spill berms, in which case you simply have to plan ahead – or clear some extra space on your truck.
And finally, you also need to now whether you might want spill berms with a bottom, also known as pop-up pools. Those can be handy if you know there’s going to be some spillage and you can simply set your spill berms up in advance.