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Standing up to

everyday leaks
and drips
containing hazards in the workplace

Slippery floors are everyday occurrences in many workplaces,


but commonly overlooked as a safety hazard. Liquids typically
leak, drip or spray onto floors and walkways where workers
can easily slip and fall.

This paper details the risks facing your operation and the
products and processes developed to help you mitigate them.

It is likely to be of special interest if you hold any of the


following positions:

• Maintenance Manager
• Technical Specialist
• Operations or Production Manager
• Engineer
• Purchasing Officer
• Stores Manager
• Administrator
• Company Executive or Director
• Laboratory Technician
• Warehouse Manager
• Environmental Health and Safety Manager

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk


Dangers By law, you are obliged to
provide a safe environment for
Your profitability is also at
risk – through compensation
that can employees and visitors to your
premises. For more information
payouts, lost sales and increased
insurance premiums.
floor you on the regulations you need to
comply with, refer to:
Research shows that most
Many workplace operations enterprises have scope for
require liquids to be stored, • Health and Safety at Work improvement in this important
moved and dispensed on site. Act 1974.1 but often over-looked area of
Such processes involve the risk their activity – remarkably,
• The Workplace (Health,
of leaks and drips reaching when asked, only 13% of
Safety and Welfare)
floors and walkways – turning members of the Institute of
Regulations 1992.1
clean, dry surfaces that normally Safety and Health thought their
provide sound footing into • The Management of organisations were fully effective
slippery hazards that can cause Health and Safety at Work at controlling the risk of slips
injurious, even deadly falls. Regulations 1999.1 and falls.1
Statistics show that: You also have an obligation to
• Slips and falls are the single your organisation. Slips and
most common cause of major falls caused by even everyday
injury in the UK workplace.1 leaks and drips can cost
you experienced personnel,
• 95% of major slips result in demoralise the rest of your
broken bones.1 workforce, disrupt production,
• Nearly 11,000 major slip or and destroy business reputations
fall incidents are recorded built up over many years.
each year.2
• Slip and fall accidents
cost employers more than
£512 million per year.1

By law, you are


obliged to provide
a safe environment
for employees and
visitors to your
premises.

Registered office: New Pig Ltd • Hogs Hill Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH
Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk


Towards Decades of development, driven by the
a more dangers of slippery surfaces and by the
surefooted need for legal compliance, have created
highly effective containment products
workplace and technologies.
Leaks and drips from machinery,
drums, pipes and other sources
needn’t reach floors and
walkways to become dangerous For pipework, these For liquid storage, these
slip hazards – provided you take solutions include: solutions include:
the right precautions. Decades • Absorbent Mats which are • Spill Pallets and Decks for
of development, driven by the mouldable and hold their containing larger liquid spills
dangers of slippery surfaces and shape to soak up and contain in material dispensing and
by the need for legal compliance, leaks, drips and condensation waste collection areas.
have created highly effective in hard-to-reach places.
containment products and • Pallet Rack Sumps to catch
technologies. • Pipe Diverters to redirect leaks and drips in steel
leaks from pipes, protecting pallet racking.
For plant machinery, these personnel and plant
solutions include: For roofs and entrances,
equipment.
these solutions include:
• Absorbent Socks which • Repair Tape and Putty
mould snugly around • Leak Diverters for
for instantly repairing small,
the bases of machines or capturing and redirecting
unexpected pipe leaks.
containers. roof and office leaks.
For liquid handling, these
• Absorbent Mats to soak • Entranceway Mats to
solutions include:
up leaks, drips, overspray remove and trap dirt and
and condensation beneath • Dispensing Dollies to water from footwear to
machines and gearboxes. provide drum transportation prevent it being walked into
and a dispensing station the workplace.
• Drip Trays, Pans and as well as secondary
Absorbent Pillows to catch containment for leaks
heavy leaks and drips under and drips.
cramped machinery.
• Drive-in Containment
For warehouses, these to stop drips and leaks
solutions include: spreading from storage
• Absorbent Mats for tanks, pallets and tankers.
positioning at loading bays • Basins and Trays which
to keep areas dry during keep slippery messes off the
wet weather. floor and in the tray.
• Traffic Mats for warehouses,
these heat-infused
constructions are ideal to
soak up and retain liquids,
and are strong enough to
withstand forklift traffic.

Registered office: New Pig Ltd • Hogs Hill Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH
Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk


Soak up the Another key concern is durability.
For using on walkways with
Consider how flexible your
Absorbent Socks will need to be.
problem heavy footfall, select heavy-duty
mats. These grip to the floor so as
For use around tight machine
spaces, choose highly mouldable
Absorbent Mats, Socks and not to cause a slip hazard, absorb socks. Heavier duty designs are
Pillows are three of the and retain the required volume better choices for spill control
product categories most sought of liquid so nothing leeches onto applications and for sitting snug
by responsible employers the surface below, and are tough to floors over extended periods.
confronting the risks posed enough to withstand intensive
by liquids in the workplace. Finally, consider your
daily use without fraying which
Superbly versatile, these items absorption requirements.
can be a slip hazard. Areas with
can be used almost anywhere in In order to prevent slip and fall
forklift traffic demand the use
your facility to stop leaks, drips hazards, decide the maximum
of dedicated heat-fused mats.
and spills from becoming life- volume of liquid likely to leak,
threatening, business-wrecking Absorption capacity is a third drip or spill and select socks
slip hazards. consideration. Lighter-duty that can soak up and retain
mats are for tool box and shelf this. More Absorbent Socks also
Choosing the right linings, counter-top use and mean less frequent change outs
Absorbent Mats for placing under machinery which can save you money and
that drips infrequently. Heavy- add to the bottom line.
Absorbent Mats are made with weight mats soak up larger
a range of absorption properties volume leaks and spills and can Choosing the right
to match the different dripping, be placed in single locations over Pillows and Pans
leaking or spilt liquids they may extended time periods.
be required to tackle. For everyday discharges
Some Absorbent Mats are made under cramped machinery,
• Universal Absorbents, with 50% or more recycled drum taps, pipes and flanges,
typically grey or blue in content so they can also help you consider Pillows and Pans.
colour, are designed to soak achieve your ISO 14001 and Absorbing liquid close to the
up and lock in non-aggressive CFR environment goals. source of a leak or drip prevents
liquids such as oils, water, it progressing onto walkways
coolants and solvents. Choosing the right where it can cause dangerous,
• Oil-Only Absorbents, Absorbent Socks expensive and potentially
typically white or brown in litigious slip and fall accidents.
Absorbent Socks are classified
colour, will absorb petroleum- into Universal Absorbents, Absorbent Pillows are classified
based liquids such as motor Oil-Only Absorbents and into Universal Absorbents, Oil-
oil, hydraulic oil, gasoline, Chemical or Haz-Mat Only Absorbents and Chemical
diesel and kerosene. Absorbents in the same way as or Haz-Mat Absorbents in the
• Haz-Mat or Chemical Absorbent Mats are (see above). same way as Absorbent Mats are
Absorbents, typically Ensure you select the kind (see above). Ensure you select
pink in colour, are meant suitable for the types of liquid the kind suitable for the types
for aggressive liquids such they will be in contact with in of liquid they will be in contact
as acids, caustics and your application. with in your workplace.
unknown liquids.

Absorbent Mats are made with a range of absorption


properties to match the different dripping, leaking or spilt
liquids they may be required to tackle.

Registered office: New Pig Ltd • Hogs Hill Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH
Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk


Getting • Overlap – when placing socks
end-to-end, overlapping them
It’s also recommended that you
develop an advanced plan to
more from by 8cm ensures liquid does
not pass from one to another.
deal with the contingency of
unexpected leaks and spills:
Absorbent • Avoid using surfactants with 1. Make an inventory of all
Mats and Oil-Only Socks – as these
chemicals will destroy the
liquids stored or used on site.
2. List the quantity of each
Socks socks’ water repellency.
liquid at each location.
Optimising the performance of • Leave until fully saturated –
3. Identify ‘high risk’ or ‘spill
these advanced solutions will you’ll know when its time
prone’ areas. Don’t overlook
help you minimise the danger to replace a sock as liquid
pipelines, sumps or
of slip and fall accidents in will slowly seep through
process liquids.
your workplace. and pool behind it. When
this happens, you are not 4. Record the maximum
When working with protecting employees from quantities of liquids which
Absorbent Mats: potential slipping hazards. could potentially spill at
• Clean away any debris each location.
or clay on the ground – 5. Keep updated Material Safety
Absorbent Mats work best Data Sheets (MSDS) for all
when in direct contact with liquids at each location.
It’s also
the floor.
recommended 6. Select the best products,
• Don’t stack – stacking materials and processes for
mats doesn’t increase their
that you develop
containing and cleaning up
absorbency but does create an advanced plan liquids that reach the floor.
more waste. to deal with the 7. Plan routes for best access to
• Use to full capacity before contingency of each location, allowing
disposal. A puddle forming unexpected for variables such as
on the top of the mat is your weather conditions.
signal that it needs replacing
leaks and spills.
8. Monitor your containment
so it does not leak liquid into
and clean-up supplies
a pedestrian walkway and
to ensure they are fully
become a slip hazard.
Putting safety first maintained and ready to
When working with clean up liquid messes
Absorbent Socks: Always ensure the correct
on the floor.
Personal Protection Equipment
• Clean up any debris or clay is issued to employees working Regular training for managers
on the ground – Absorbent with Chemical or Haz-Mat and employees will also help
Socks work best when in Absorbents as these absorb acids minimise the risk of slip-and-fall
direct contact with the floor. and caustics which can cause accidents. Classroom training
• Shake before deployment – serious injury if not handled establishes chain of command
giving Absorbent Socks a correctly. To safeguard the and individual responsibilities;
good shake evenly distributes environment, used absorbent practical demonstrations prove
the contained filler to create products must also be disposed the efficiency of solutions and
the best possible contact with of in compliance with national instill worker confidence.
the surface and enable snug and local regulations.
moulding around machines
and pipework.

Registered office: New Pig Ltd • Hogs Hill Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH
Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk


Absorbing Observing these rules will help keep your
the lessons workers safe – and your business on its feet.
Slip, trip and fall incidents
in the UK workplace cost 40
workers their lives in 20093,
with liquids spilt onto floors and Crucial to minimising the risk 3. Ensure your absorption
walkways among the commonest of slips and falls is the safe products are used to
causes. Such events also have and legally compliant curbing optimal effect.
expensive, potentially disastrous of leaks, drips and spills. Best
consequences for affected 4. Follow all safety guidelines
practice recommends that you:
businesses. Legal action against concerning the handling and
compliance failures, diminished 1. Familiarise yourself and disposal of used absorption
employee morale, disruptions your employees with all products.
to production, your business relevant legislature.
5. Develop contingency plans
reputation tarnished – all these 2. Invest in the products and for addressing unexpected
are possible outcomes. technologies available to leaks and spills, and train
Even with the best liability you which soak up, contain staff to ensure they have the
insurance, you’re likely to incur and redirect unwanted knowledge and confidence to
considerable expenses. And your liquids away from floors deal with them.
insurance premiums are likely and walkways. Absorbent
Observing these rules will help
to rise too – for example, an Mats, Absorbent Socks and
keep your workers safe – and
employee breaking an arm can Absorbent Pillows provide
your business on its feet.
increase these by £6,000 or more.1 dedicated, versatile solutions
across the workplace.

References
1
Health and Safety Executive
2
Your Legal Rights/Barbour
Environment Health and Safety
3
HR Review - 8/2/2010

Registered office: New Pig Ltd • Hogs Hill Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH
Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

© 2010 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved. • facebook.com/newpiguk • www.newpig.co.uk