Wellness in the Workplace: The Key To Increasing Employee Productivity

Before you put your spring cleaning checklist away for another year, take a moment today to ask yourself: am I fostering a healthy workplace? If you are, now may be the time to update your workplace wellness plan – and if you don’t, now is definitely the time to start considering how you can encourage wellness in your workforce. (more…)

Spill Kit Contents List and Requirements

If liquid spills at your job present a health hazard, environmental hazard, or might cause a slip and fall injury, you need an emergency spill kit.

This includes restaurants, or catering kitchens, auto repair shops, manufacturing floors, warehouses, schools, and healthcare facilities. Spill kits are essential to prevent falls and limit exposure to hazardous wastes and body fluids at worksites.

What Is a Spill Kit?

If you aren’t familiar with spill kits, you probably work at a site that isn’t required to follow guidelines issued by your state’s or the federal government’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Still, it’s a good idea to have an emergency spill kit at any workplace.

A good spill kit quickly and safely cleans up liquid spills for easy disposal. The best ones clean up oils, chemicals, and body fluids, as well as harmless liquids like water and beverages.

What Do Spill kit Contents Include?

Spill kit contents always include the following:

  • Protective clothing or personal protective equipment to protect body parts most likely to be exposed to spilled hazardous substances: hazmat suits, hard hats, gloves, safety goggles, and shoe covers.
  • Tools that clean up a spill like highly absorbent towels or pads, kitty litter, or absorbent powders.

In addition to protective clothing and clean up tools, a standard spill kit checklist should also include:

  • Receptacles to collect waste from the spill such as clumps from the absorbent and soaked pads.
  • Disposable plastic bags with ties.
  • Polypropylene broom to push around absorbent powders.
  • Dustbin.

Why You Need an Emergency Spill Kit?

Why do we say it’s a good idea to have an emergency spill kit? Because liquid spill accidents happen anywhere. Here are some examples where spill kits and spill kit contents can be a huge help:

  • Floods are becoming a seasonal norm in some parts of the country, threatening and damaging homes and businesses.
  • Aging infrastructures mean sewers might overflow during heavy rains.
  • Plumbing can give out at home or at work, causing leaks or overflows.
  • People go to work and school sick enough to vomit.

We offer two kinds of spill kits for emergencies: one for everyday home and workshop spills and one for industrial use. Both include safety glasses, disposable gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, and different types of SpillFix absorbents.

plumbing leak

Oil Spill Kit Contents

Let’s not forget hobbies like car restoration or DIY activities like flushing a car’s coolant system, painting, and minor plumbing repairs. All of these can cause at least minor but slippery spills because chances are high that oil or grease is involved.

A little bit of spilled oil, gasoline, coolant, or even water uses up a surprising amount of rags and old towels, which almost always leave behind residue. An oil spill kit needs an absorbent that’s strong enough to absorb the spill and eliminate residue. 

SpillFix is a solution that has gained higher marks from customers for easy, faster clean up without any oil or grease left behind.

OSHA Spill Kit Requirements

The Federal OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) doesn’t list specific requirements for spill kits. Instead, it instructs worksites to have industry-standard safety and health programs in place for treating, storing, and disposing of hazardous waste, including liquid spills. 

Training personnel to handle and control hazardous waste is a key part of OSHA guidance. Workers who provide spill control and containment must have appropriate protective clothing and must be trained to use spill control equipment. 

OSHA notes that states, cities, and counties may have their own specific hazardous waste cleanup businesses should follow.

Do you have questions about spill containment and cleanup, including distribution opportunities? Contact us at +1 (919) 371-5847.

7 Different Types of Absorbent Materials

Absorbents are materials used to soak up liquids and are an important safety tool in just about every industry. Spills at worksites pose dangers that range from fall risks to possible contamination from biohazards and infectious bodily fluids.

Three Types of Absorbents Used in Absorbing Material

Absorbents have three main uses and are packed in various ways to absorb each type of spill efficiently:

  1. Multipurpose universal absorbents used to clean up water, oils, and solvents all at once.
  2. Oil absorbents that are used to clean out oil from water.
  3. Chemical and HazMat absorbents that clean water-based fluids like gas, coolants, acetone, turpentine, etc.

Many absorbents are made from clay similar to what’s found in kitty litter — a common absorbent product that is thrown down on a liquid spill and left for some time to cover the spill. Chemical, hazmat, and oil spills often use absorbents made with superabsorbent polymers, or hydrogels, that solidify the liquid for cleanup.

SpillFix is made from a byproduct of coconut husks, called coir, and it absorbs spills instantly and more effectively than clay, is lighter in weight, and can be reused. Read more about the discovery of coir.

SpillFix can clean virtually any land-based spill, including oils and biohazard spills. We classify it as both a multipurpose and chemical/hazmat cleaner. As one of our customers told us, “I have yet to encounter a spill or leak this product can’t handle.”

Seven Basic Ways Absorbent Material Is Sold

The absorbent material is packaged in seven basic ways:

 

  • Absorbent pads — sold in sheets to soak up low-volume spills and to protect surfaces from spills.
  • Absorbent pillows — used to quickly soak up a lot of liquid in one place.
  • Absorbent socks — used to absorb liquids, usually oil, off industrial equipment.
  • Absorbent booms — larger versions of socks that are used to clean up bigger spills.
  • Loose absorbents — usually granules poured directly on a spill to absorb it; ingredients might include superabsorbent polymers.
  • Reusable absorbents — such as towels and rags.
    Reusable absorbents -- such as towels and rags
  • Skimmers – which are tubes to attract, contain, and remove oil, grease, and oily waste from bodies of water. 

 

SpillFix can be used in all of these products except for skimmers that use tubes. SpillFix can be used in skimmers but not left unattended.

One Product That Has the Most Absorbent Material for Every Spill

SpillFix works faster than clay absorbents because it absorbs immediately and will clean to a residue-free surface, thus not requiring secondary cleaning with a mop and bucket, etc. In fact, it can be reused for later spills if not fully saturated with the spilled material, but you should immediately dispose of it after cleaning toxic or potentially hazardous spills.

SpillFix works on land-based spills and is sold in packages and jars of different sizes to meet customers’ volume needs. They can be used to create or refill absorbent socks, pads, and pillows. Remember, SpillFix can be reused, too, so it’s possible to use one of these a few times before refilling it with more SpillFix.

Booms, though, are larger items, so we sell absorbent booms in two sizes — 5’ and 10’ x 4” — that can be joined to make larger booms.

We offer a refillable four-gallon bucket and a 555-gallon Super Sack for businesses that respond to large industrial spills. (It’s actually 568 gallons but the marketing experts say “555” is easier to remember.) It will absorb 300 gallons of oil.

100% Organic Absorbing Material 

SpillFix is a fully organic product and safe to use in any setting. It is made from a renewable resource and is certified food safe. In addition, it is OMRI-listed for organic use and on the NSF registry for nonfood compound use, in food processing and manufacturing. NSF tests products for environmental and public health and safety-based risk management solutions. 

Contact us today to order your first SpillFix shipment!

5 Common Questions About The SpillFix Absorbent Product

If you work with absorbent products, then you’ve certainly experienced problems with their use at one point or another. Whether they created an unhealthy cloud of dust in your work space or simply failed to properly clean the very spill they were bought to clean, we’re willing to bet that your go-to absorbent product is not the perfect solution to your needs. (more…)

5 Work Place Health and Safety Tips

If you’re developing or running a workplace health and safety program, you already know you can’t do this alone. You need buy-in from top executives and support from respected worksite leaders. 

The following are five workplace health and safety tips to get your program up and running.

Top Executives Must Visibly Support Work Place Safety

No workplace safety program will succeed if the signals about it from the top are mixed.

Side-stepping even smallish safety steps can wreak havoc on lives and business.

  • In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico made history for causing the largest marine oil spill in history when it exploded and killed 11 employees. 
  • That same year, an explosion in West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29 miners. 

Investigations showed a clear lack of support for and understanding of safety procedures at these companies. Safety monitors on the Deepwater Horizon had been shut off to prevent false alarms, while Upper Big Branch Mine executives didn’t want to spend funds to keep it well-ventilated. This allowed explosives gases to build up and explode.

So what can a safety professional do to get workplace health and safety taken seriously from the people at the top whose concern may be bottom-line financials?

One tactic is to outline how ensuring a safe workplace will save money by reducing:

  • Absenteeism as fewer employees get sick or injured on the job
  • Employee turnover: employees remain with companies that visibly demonstrate they are valued
  • Costs to repair or replace machinery that gets damaged from lack of maintenance and safety inspections
  • Health and safety violations and fines

The company may even see lower or at least steadier costs for workers comp and health, business, and property insurance. And who knows, its reputation may soar as a result.

Once you get executive support, ask them to make an announcement about a new focus on workplace health and safety.

 

Start Working on and Communicating Your Work Place Safety Plan Right Away!

Now that you have buy-in from the top, start outlining your workplace safety plan and let the people around you know about it. This underscores how seriously you take this responsibility, whether it’s a new job and you’re new to the company or you’ve been promoted into it.

Follow up the executive announcement with your own communication about workplace safety and areas where there are opportunities for improvement.

Go to department heads and managers and ask if you can be included in planning meetings so you can better understand what they’re up against. You’ll be most effective as a listener at these meetings. Jot down your questions to ask later.

When you communicate with your fellow employees, use the method they are most familiar with. It can be an email, hardcopy memo, or a video. Whatever you do, be sure to include a photo of yourself (which you can embed on your email) and contact information. 

Get Employees Involved with Work Place Health

Think about creative ways to get the interest of the company’s rank-and-file as you develop training plans.

Most people sigh when they have to go for safety training, but by making it clear that employees are the engines that drive the workplace, you’ll find that many support new or renewed safety efforts. No one wants to be that guy who wishes he had Aflac!

Work Place Health

One of the best workplace safety tips we can offer is to make safety an inclusive process. Find out who has unique insights into different aspects of the company and get them involved. 

  • Get advice from the experts who handle chemicals and machinery on developing safety controls and written policies. 
    • Are chemicals properly stored, or are there improvements they’d like to see? 
    • Where are logs kept? 
    • Is there a night or sleep setting for certain equipment, or should everything be turned off at the end of the day? 
    • How often should equipment be cleaned and inspected for optimal performance? 
    • What personal protective equipment is ideal?
  • Ask people who work for executives to help coordinate and run safety drills, particularly fire drills and emergency evacuations. They can take charge and directing employees to evacuation areas to conduct headcounts. 
    • Everyone knows who they are!
    • Their gatekeeping role usually means they have their bosses’ backs while maintaining good relationships with rank-and-file employees. 

Provide refreshments at training sessions. (Seriously, this really spreads goodwill.) Briefly introduce yourself and ask people to do the same. Acknowledge any commonalities you have with someone, whether it’s having the same breed of dog or growing up in New Jersey. These are steps to build positive relationships.

Tackle Low-Hanging Fruit

Here’s an easy workplace safety tip: Address the most visible problems first.

Let’s say there are lots of spills that take time to clean up with kitty litter, cardboard, or whatever is used. Bring in a jar of SpillFix, which quickly soaks up liquids without leaving any residue behind. This is a great way to demonstrate your own knowledge of workplace safety in with a  practical solution.

If you aren’t familiar with SpillFix, you can request a demonstration.

Insist on a No-Tolerance Policy on Drug and Alcohol Abuse

One workplace safety tip we believe should be non-negotiable is a strong drug and alcohol policy. 

Employees deserve to work in safe settings. Overlooking or excusing an impaired person is practically inviting an accident, particularly if this person handles chemicals or operates machinery.

Find out if there’s an employee assistance program (EAP) in place that includes mental health and substance abuse counseling services. Requiring violators to get help should be the first step in addressing drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace.

A healthy and safe work environment is essential for producing quality products. Getting it right from the start will promote a positive reputation and develop loyal, conscientious employees.