How To Recycle Hazardous Industrial Waste

recycling industrial waste spillfix renewable resourceWorkplace safety and environmental impact are important aspects of a company’s culture and reputation, which is where recycling comes in. There are numerous benefits to recycling such as saving money, conserving resources, and protecting the environment among other things. Large companies can have a significant impact on the environment so they have a responsibility to handle byproducts with care. Here are a few steps you can take to recycle hazardous industrial waste responsibly:

1. Know The Rules:

First, you should check the regulations for recycling industrial waste. Because there are so many different kinds of industrial byproducts, they are all carefully classified and categorized with specific regulations on how to handle them properly. For example, solid waste is different from liquid waste and is, therefore, subject to different regulations and recycling methods.

2. Responsible Recycling:

Now, you should search for a responsible recycler. You want to employ a recycler who won’t cut corners and follows regulations. To determine if you’ve found a responsible recycler, you should understand the recycling process for your particular type of waste. If you know the rules and how the recycling process should work, you can ask your potential recycler to verify their methods.

3. “Sham” Recycling:

Always be wary of sham recycling where the legal requirements for recycling hazardous waste aren’t being followed. In order to avoid this situation, you can ask these questions:

  • Is the hazardous waste an effective substance for the purpose your recycler will use it for?
  • What amount of byproduct are they using? Is it used in excess?
  • Does the recycling facility maintain records of all transactions?

These questions will help you determine whether there’s a market for the end product.

Recycling hazardous waste will help your company save money and improve your relationship with the public. You can keep detailed records and impact reports of your recycling history to demonstrate to the public that you’re doing your part to protect the environment while still delivering the products they need. If you have any questions about proper recycling methods for hazardous industrial waste, check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

4 Awesome Coconut Facts

coconut husk renewable resource spillfix cleanupAs you may know, SpillFix Industrial Organic Absorbent is derived from coir, or coconut husks, which is a renewable resource that is 100% organic and safe to use — and safe for the environment. But spillfix is not the only creative way to use coconuts! Other than being a wonderfully tasty treat, this tropical fruit can be useful in a variety of settings.

1. The Coconut IV

Coconuts are a nutritious treat, full of fiber, vitamin C, and iron, but they also have other surprising medical benefits. As far back as the 1950s, coconut water could be used as a substitute for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients. Recently, it was used in the Solomon Islands to treat a severely dehydrated patient.

  1. Coco-Fuel
    Now you know coconuts are a great fuel for the human body, but its oil can also be used as a planet-friendly fuel alternative for automobiles and other machinery. As engine fuel, coconut oil can be used as a direct substitute for petroleum diesel, as an additive to petroleum diesel or bio-diesel, and even as the the base ingredient of bio-diesel.

  2. Tasty Alcohol

The piña colada is a vacation staple. No beach party is complete without a refreshing coconut drink by the pool. But in the Philippines, people often use the sap from an unopened coconut flower and distill it into a drink called lambanog. This potent drink is easily 80 to 90 proof, but is also organic and chemical-free! This coconut beverage is typically homemade, but some commercial distilleries have started producing lambanog as well, and they have introduced several new flavors, such as mango, bubblegum, and blueberry.

  1. Coco Armor

Coconut armour may sound like a joke, but craftsmen in the small Micronesian archipelago of Kiribati were able to craft husks into suits of armor! The coconut fibre armour from Oceania was made of dense coconut fibre matting; the full suit consists of a cap, body armour, back plate, jerkin and leggings.

Now we may be partial, but while all of these uses for coconuts are useful and incredibly creative, SpillFix Industrial Organic Absorbent may take the cake. Our product instantly absorbs any liquid spill on contact, so spill areas can be cleaned up with minimum downtime and the area immediately rendered safe. Go to our supplier page to locate a retailer near you!

Preventing Fires in the Workplace

Do you know about the most common fire hazards in your industry? There could be more dangers than you think. Every year, it’s estimated that 80,000 workplace fires seriously damage businesses and injure workers. For 2015, we want to help you and your business recognize and avoid common business place fire hazards, which will help you and your employees be as safe as possible. Once you are aware of these three frequent fire risks, it’s much easier to avoid them later.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Oil Soaked Rags

When a fuel spill happens, reaching for a rag is probably your knee-jerk reaction. However, piles of oily rags become a very dangerous fire hazard in the workplace. Not only are the rags highly flammable, but in some cases piles of rags have been known to get so warm they ignite themselves.

Instead of using a rag to clean workplace spills, we suggest investing in a spill kit with a professional absorbent product. They’re much more efficient at cleaning spills than rags and, depending on whether or not the absorbent product meets your community’s waste disposal guidelines, they can be much easier to dispose of properly.

Old/Malfunctioning Equipment

How long have you been using the current machinery at your factory? If a machine is over a couple decades old, you might be working around a fire hazard. Old and malfunctioning pieces of equipment are more likely to give off sparks when in use. If these sparks land in the wrong spot, (such as a pile of oil soaked rags) you could have a fire on your hands that employees aren’t equipped to handle.

We suggest seriously considering a machinery upgrade. At the very least, be sure to keep old equipment clean and free of clutter in case of sparks. Lastly, complete regular safety evaluations to check wires and gears to be sure the machine is working properly.

Clutter

Even if you always remember to put your tools and materials away correctly, other types of clutter in the work area can act as fuel for a spreading fire. Files stacked on the floor and overflowing trash cans are just a few of the worst offenders. Professional organizers also agree that too much clutter can be a dangerous fire hazard to buildings.

We suggest really taking the time to clean up your area. A potential fire shouldn’t be getting help from your office when spreading throughout a building. Your stack of papers in the corner might look intimidating now, but after taking the time to go through them, you might find things you had forgotten about.
In addition to staying on the look out for these fire hazards, it is also important to have a clear safety plan in the event of a fire. All employees should be aware of where the fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits are located throughout the building. Following these tips will help keep your organization fire free.

What SpillFix Product Is Right For Your Business?

Image courtesy of SpillFix

Image courtesy of SpillFix

Whenever we talk about an absorbent product, we should always think of that absorbent product as a tool. Like any other tool, when it comes to cleaning up spills at work most of the time one kind of absorbent product will do a better job than another. And as with any other type of tool, different absorbent products will work better on different spills than another type of absorbent product might. Not only that, but the type of absorbent product you use will impact your company’s effectiveness, overall safety, and performance.

SpillFix is just one kind of absorbent product that you may decide to use to clean up fuel spills, chemical spills, or a range of other types of spills. But when exactly is it appropriate to use SpillFix? Today we’ll answer those questions so you can make sure you’re cleaning up spills to the best of your abilities.

What is SpillFix?

SpillFix Industrial Absorbent is a organic, non-toxic absorbent made from coir which is a renewable resource extracted from coconut husks. SpillFix is currently available in both loose, bagged form and boom sock form.

When should I use loose SpillFix absorbent product?

Loose absorbent products are used to clean up most liquid spills at work, and are particularly helpful when you need to clean up a spill that has leaked into cracks and seams that a larger, solid absorbent product couldn’t reach. While some types of loose absorbent products have a bad reputation for containing dangerous crystalline silica and for being dusty and difficult to sweep or shovel up afterwards and generally cumbersome to use, SpillFix removes dust from the equation and, as demonstrations show, is quick and easy to pick up and dispose of.

When should I use SpillFix booms?

If you have a large liquid spill quickly spreading that needs to be simultaneously contained and absorbed, a boom will help you get the job done. Commonly used to contain water-based oil spills, booms are also very effective to use on other kinds of spills that happen at your place of work – both indoors and outdoors. SpillFix booms are especially useful since no spill can be cleaned before it’s been properly contained, meaning that in the event of a spill a boom is a necessity.

As you can see, every worksite needs different spill products to address different spill-related needs. Assessing your workplace and deciding which products meet your safety needs is critical in determining which products to purchase to keep your worksite safe at all times.
Questions? Comments? Interested in learning more about SpillFix’s products? Find us on Facebook and Twitter!

5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Clay Products

There’s no doubt that spills in the workplace should be properly contained and cleaned with a spill absorbent product. However, not all absorbent products are created equally. Clay absorbent products, for example, can do more harm than good in the workplace. That’s why if your company still uses a clay absorbent, you should start thinking about making the switch to a more natural spill absorbent to protect your business, your workers, and your bottom line.

Don’t believe us? Here are five major reasons to consider making this switch today:

  1. Clay absorbent products are damaging.

Clay absorbents are made of small, rough grains. The sharp, abrasive edges of these grains could destroy floors during cleanup. Because you have to spread clay absorbent products around to clean spills, the granules sometimes scratch coated floors or sensitive machine parts causing more harm than good.

  1. Clay absorbent products are hard to lift.

A lot of clay absorbent bags are bulky and weigh about 45 pounds, making the cleanup hard to handle for workers. Not to mention, absorbed liquid in used clay absorbents can add additional pounds. Investing in a lightweight absorbent, like SpillFix, will be easier on your workers’ backs.

  1. Clay absorbent products are messy.

The absorption rate of clay products isn’t as good as most people claim. Most of the time, workers end up using the whole bag of absorbent – or close to it – to clean a small spill. Even then, slippery residue can remain on the ground and create a work safety hazard. Non-clay absorbents, such as SpillFix, start absorbing liquids as soon the material touches the spill so you only need to use a small amount of spill absorbent product to get the job done.

  1. Clay absorbent products are difficult to dispose of.

On top of clay absorbents requiring more work in terms of sweeping and shoveling up the absorbent, it is almost impossible to dispose of the used product quickly or efficiently. Unlike other spill absorbent products, used clay absorbents cannot be burned, and therefore must be stored in containers and disposed of via long tedious procedures. When SpillFix is used to clean oil or fuel spills, it can be disposed of easily and even transformed into a fuel source for other machinery.

  1. Clay absorbents are harmful to your health.

In addition to all the aforementioned reasons, clay absorbent products can pose a dangerous health risk to workers. The dust associated with clay absorbents contains crystalline silica – a known lung carcinogen. By using clay products, workers put themselves at risk for a number of lung diseases.

What can be used instead of clay absorbents?

Absorbents made from renewable resources are probably your best bet. For example, SpillFix is made from coir, a renewable resource from coconut husks. Because SpillFix uses this material, it is more lightweight, absorbent, and healthier for workers. Switching absorbent products now will save your business, your employees, and yourself a lot of time and hassle in the future.

6 Things to Consider When Storing Chemicals

When you work in an industry that handles chemicals, there are safety precautions that need to be taken. As we’ve discussed previously, having a full spill kit on hand is imperative when dealing with dangerous chemicals. However, the handling of those chemicals is equally as important. In addition to ensuring that you are meeting national and local legal requirements, exercising caution and care while managing chemicals can help protect your employees and your bottom line from the effects of a harmful spill.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

While your company may find that additional requirements will help make your workplaces safer, at least following these 6 tips will help to keep any chemicals and liquids you might be working with contained and safely stored:

  1. Use labels and keep paperwork in order. Chemical manufacturers are required Under OSHA’s Hazard Communication standards to label chemicals in the workplace based on any hazards they might pose. A Material Safety Data Sheet must also be provided for each and every chemical.
  2. Keep inventory. Keeping an updated inventory on any on-site chemicals, as well as any safety information needed for individual chemicals, will help keep track of what is stored in your facility and ensure that your staff knows how best to handle each chemical. An inventory is also needed in the event of a fire or chemical spill where the fire department has to be called. Emergency personnel will need an updated list of the chemicals in the facility to better assess how to handle the situation.
  3. Use a well organized storage system. The best storage method for keeping chemicals is to store them by type. Storing them alphabetically could cause a problem if some of the chemicals are incompatible with each other. Flammables, corrosives, and toxic chemicals are a few types of chemicals that commonly cause problems when stored with other chemicals. Storing by type can prevent any accidental contact that could cause a fire or worse, an explosion. Make sure each chemical family is separated by either a non-combustible partition or at least 20 feet of space.
  4. Use safe storage materials. Any corrosive liquids should be kept in acid containers to ensure that mutually reactive chemicals can’t accidentally come in contact with one another. They should also be kept within secondary corrosive-resistant containers.
  5. Schedule safety checks. Frequently do checkups of any containers or drums of oil and chemicals. Over time, containers or drums could develop leaks. If left unmended these can cause serious damage and possibly result in injury. In the event of a leak, use a drip pan to catch the leaked chemical until the storage unit can be properly mended or replaced entirely.
  6. Create a Chemical Hygiene Plan. A Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is another must for chemical-handling organizations. A CHP is “a written program stating the policies, procedures and responsibilities that protect workers from the health hazards associated with the hazardous chemicals used in that particular workplace.” Keeping a CHP updated and keeping everyone informed on them will prevent an unnecessary injury.

By keeping chemicals safely contained and stored, and making it easy for employees to handle and address them, you can prevent dangerous spills that could cause serious problems. Proper containment is important for preventing dangerous spills which could lead to fires and explosions. The safety of those working in the facility is of the utmost importance, therefore preventing a hazardous emergency should be the priority.

Sources Cited:

OSHA

University of California Berkley

SpillKits: Why Every Work Site Needs One

A couple of weeks ago we spoke about spill preparedness and how to best respond in the event of a chemical spill. Part of being prepared for a spill includes having the proper tools on hand to contain and then clean the spill. One of the most important tools you can have on hand in preparation for this possible need are spill kits.

Spill kits are fantastic tools for anyone working with oils, acids, fuels and other liquids that could spill or leak in any number of locations, such as warehouses, factories, refineries, auto shops, garages, and even hospitals. And that’s only a few of the places that can experience liquid spills!

If your worksite handles liquids of some sort, specifically hazardous ones, then your worksite also needs a full spill kit that can handle your site’s potential needs. To get that spill kit, it’s good practice to develop a personalized spill response emergency kit that’s designed just for your worksite.  While pre-made spill kits can be helpful, they don’t necessarily include all of the tools that cater to specific work site needs – or wants.

To ensure that your worksite is properly prepared for a potential spill, remember to think about these things when crafting your personalized spill kit:

  • If your organization is an environmentally friendly one, or if it’s trying to become a greener workspace, a pre-made spill kit might not have the tools needed to adhere to those standards. You may be better off creating kits entirely from scratch, depending on your company’s commitment to environmental policies.
  • If your organization is looking to improve worker safety, there’s a chance that some pre-made spill kits will contain products with harmful chemicals or by-products such as silica dust, which your company may not necessarily want on-site. Take the time to research any products that are currently available before buying them.
  • If your organization handles multiple kinds of liquids, pre-made spill kits may not necessarily guarantee that every spill control product you want will be available when you need it; by making your own spill kits and restocking them with items that you know are necessary to your specific company, your organization will always have a customer spill kit that holds everything that you could possibly need.

These factors highlight why personalizing your workspace is a must for safer worksites. Though it’s tempting to just run on autopilot buy pre-made spill kits as needed, your company will be better off if it invests the time, energy and money into researching and even developing custom-made spill kits containing spill products that will meet your work site’s specific needs when used. It may be that pre-made spill kits do in fact meet your company’s every need! Ultimately, though, your company can only benefit from taking the time to ensure that its spill kits are meeting their every need – and that those kits will be enough in a worse-case scenario spill or accident.

Chemical Absorbents: What You Should Know

When you work in an industry that deals with chemicals it’s imperative that you also have the means to clean up those chemicals in the event of a spill. If you have a chemical absorbent on hand, you will protect those working with chemicals. Not only that, but you will meet legal requirements for safety and cut down on the time it would take to clean up the spill.

SpillFix

What is needed in the event of a major spill? There are many different kinds of absorbent products that can be used to clean up a spill, from pads to rolls to sorbents. Each type of product serves a different purpose and performs a different job in the event of a spill. Here at SpillFix, we offer two forms of absorbent products: boom socks and a bagged product.

Boom socks are perfect for corralling a spill before it can spread out. These long, absorbent socks can be placed in the path of a moving spill to halt the spread, preventing it from growing larger and causing bigger problems. Plus, the material used to make absorbent socks has unique wicking properties that stop the flow of the spill while absorbing the chemical up.

With two size bags of absorbent, you have the ability to soak up any size spill. The 50 litre bag has the capacity to absorb spills of up to 26 litres while the 15 litre bag has the capacity to absorb 9.5 litres. With our bags of absorbent material you can quickly soak up a spill

What to do in the event of a spill? It’s important to have an emergency procedure in place for when a chemical spill occurs.

  • Remove all nonessential personnel from the area. Anyone not involved in the cleanup should leave the area of the spill to prevent them from getting in the away and heightening the problem.
  • Do not touch the chemical spill. Until the chemical has been identified as being not harmful, it’s important not to come in contact with the spill.
  • Anyone cleaning up the spill should don the proper coverings and safety equipment.
  • Decontaminate any equipment, tools and employees who may have gotten chemicals on them or their person.

Chemical spills are serious and could be incredibly harmful to people and the environment if it makes its way down a drain. The most important thing is to be prepared. By having the right absorbent products on hand you will always be prepared for a big spill.

3 Small Things That Make A Big Difference At Work

Springtime is strongly associated with an annual cleaning and clearing out of our homes. But our living area isn’t the only space that deserves a little extra attention. Given that we spend much of our lives in our workspace, it makes sense to give our place of employment a “spring cleaning” lookover, too.

This isn’t just something trendy that you can take part in, either. It’s important to do frequent checkups of your business and suss out any problem areas that need work. When small issue are left unattended, they can grow into bigger issues in the long run. But periodic reviews can keep quality up and prevent larger concerns from seeing the light of day. These are 3 simple things that you can examine during these reviews to upkeep the order in your workplace.

Value Worker Safety

First things first. Start with yourself. Make sure that you are following any and all safety procedures laid out by the company, by the manufacturers of the tools you use, and by overhead organizations such as OSHA. If you demonstrate that you take workplace safety seriously, your colleagues will follow your example. By making it a big deal you can establish that your organization is active in its workers’ safety which will encourage others to follow suit.

Find Ways to Improve Safety Measures

Even if you’re meeting safety requirements, that doesn’t mean you can’t do more to improve safety around your workplace overall. One thing you can do is assess your surroundings by taking a walk around the perimeter of your work floor. Are there things hiding in corners that shouldn’t be? Take a moment to notice obstructions and clutter. When you take notice of these things, your coworkers will take that into consideration and will take note themselves in the future.

You should also spend time with your employees and coworkers to brainstorm solutions to safety concerns. There might be something that you may not have thought of or a problem that you hadn’t noticed. By getting others’ perspectives, you can give yourself a different mindset, which can help you solve safety issues that you might not have even realized were a problem.

Praise Your Team

From a management standpoint, a happy team is a productive one. Take time out of each week or month to meet with the leaders of each team, or with each of the teams as a whole, and get reports on how they are progressing. Give commendation when it is deserved and give advice when it is necessary. Remember: when workers are acknowledged for their hard work, they are more likely to continue the good work in the future.


While you may feel that these 3 things would be a waste of company time, we believe scheduling time to evaluations such as these will save both time and money. When allowed to deteriorate, the state of your organization can easily fall out of tune.  But regularly following these 3 pieces of advice, and taking recurrent reviews of the workspace, you can can often prevent problems that may arise from neglect down the line. Ultimately, it’s much simpler to keep the quality of work high by investing more in it now than later.

On the Job Respiratory Problems: How Can They Be Prevented?

You have to be able to breathe in order to work, right? That’s common sense. The average person breathes in about 2,800 litres of air each workday, more if they are undergoing more physical labor. With so much of your oxygen intake being met at work, the air quality of your workplace is an important aspect of your work environment to consider and keep in mind.

While any workspace can suffer from air quality issues, many common air related problems come with working in construction, factories and warehouses. If there is poor air quality in your workplace, particularly in these three environments, steps need to be taken in order to improve it. While some problems may be harder to address than others, the following three  air quality issues are actually easily preventable if precautions are taken:

1) Allergies

An allergy is defined as “an abnormal reaction of the body to a previously encountered allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin contact.” Over 36 million people suffer from allergies in the United States. Individuals who work indoors in offices are usually affected by dust, but those working in factories and warehouses should also be wary of dust mites. Twenty-two million Americans suffer from asthma and that can be easily exacerbated by dust mites.

If your allergies are distracting you from work and making it difficult to concentrate, follow these tips to help clear the air:

  • Dust your workspace frequently. By keeping your station free of dust, you can reduce your risk of being affected by malicious dust particles and dust mites.
  • Are there films of pollen coating the window panes at work? Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible to prevent pollen from infiltrating the building. Use an air filter and regularly clean the filter to counter pollen build up.
  • Mold spores thrive in damp areas. Check often for puddles and immediately mend any leaks found to halt any mold spore intrusions.
  • Consider wearing a face mask when performing any work outdoors during windy days or peak pollen times (between 10 AM and 4 PM).

2) Poor Ventilation

Do you notice a musty smell at work? Do you suffer from symptoms, like headaches or tiredness, that start in the workplace but dissipate once you leave work? Your workplace could have poor ventilation. To address this problem, try doing the following:

  • Regularly change filters on air purifiers and air filters. If an air filter is left to collect too much build-up, it won’t be able to properly do its job. If you regularly clean your workspace you can cut down on the number of times you need to replace your filter.
  • Make sure each fuel burning device is ventilated separately.
  • If allergies aren’t a problem, open windows and let fresh air into the room.

3) Inhalation of Chemicals

Working with and alongside heavy chemicals can cause serious health issues. Chemicals can be inhaled into the body in the form of gases, mists and dusts. Symptoms of chemical inhalation include irritation of the eyes and nose, a cough, or shortness of breath – and in some cases, the ingredients in certain chemicals can contribute to the development of serious health ailments. Follow these steps to prevent inhaling harmful chemicals while at work:

  • Gas masks should be readily available on-site in the event of a chemical spill. All workers should be trained on the proper use and when to use a gas mask.
  • Always use extreme care when handling dangerous chemicals. Remember, the best way to avoid inhalation is to follow safety protocols for the handling and transportation of hazardous substances – and it’s better to be careful and safe than reckless and sorry!
  • Knowledge is power! Be sure to educate workers on the types of chemicals they are working with, as well as about the appropriate ways of handling each one. This will help to prevent any problems or misunderstandings among the people who have been designated to handle chemicals on-site.

These are just three examples of how anyone can begin to address common and likely air quality issues at their place of work. It’s important to remember, however, that while some issues can be handled in-house, other problems may require additional outside assistance before being addressed. Because of this, it’s important for every staff member at a company to be on-board with supporting air quality procedures at their place of work.

Don’t wait for problems to develop before bringing up your concerns with management. And if you feel like there is a problem in your workplace with poor air quality that has not been properly managed until now you should bring it up with your supervisor or with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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