Keep it Clean... With Spill Control

Maintaining a clean facility is an integral part of keeping workers safe. Spills and leaks can interfere with safety. Cleaning routine leaks, drips, and spills improves safety and compliance, while helping to reduce workers’ compensation claims. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports that over 1 million emergency room visits are caused by slip and fall accidents. The accidents account for more than 31 days away from work, and an estimated $13-14 million dollar per year in injuries.

What can you do to prevent slip and fall accidents in your workplace? Implement an effective containment plan, provide proper training, and have the right equipment and materials in place. Have the proper spill control materials on hand to help prevent spills and clean them up when and if they happen.

Choosing the proper spill control is two-pronged. The first is to know what type of liquids you’re containing and cleaning. The type of fluid will determine the type of sorbent material you use.

  • Universal sorbents are ideal for all-purpose cleanup for oils, coolants, solvents, and water-based fluids. They can be used around machinery, under leaky pipes, and in high traffic areas.
  • Oil-only sorbents are specifically for soaking up hydraulic oil, motor oil, brake fluid, cooking oil, turpentine, and a variety of other oil-based liquids. They will not absorb water and will float indefinitely.
  • Chemical or hazardous sorbents are for use when cleaning chemicals like citric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sodium hydroxide and numerous other chemicals. These sorbents are color-coded for quick identification.

Once you determine the type of fluid you’re dealing with, the next step is to choose the right type of sorbent – pad, sock, pillow, etc. If you choose a pad to do the job better suited for a sock, you’ll be spending money on the wrong product. If the sorbent you’re using doesn’t have a large enough capacity, or too much capacity you’ll be using more than what you need.

The capacity of a sorbent is determined by its weight (lightweight, medium weight, or heavyweight), and sorbent type (pad, sock, pillow, etc.) Each sorbent is marked with its capacity. It’s important to analyze your needs before choosing the right product for your task.

Choosing the right type of spill control product is an important part of creating a safe work environment. Our Technical Support Reps can give you the information you need to make the right choice. Give them a call at 800-922-8553, or email They're here to help!

Northern Safety Co., Inc.
PO Box 4250. Utica, NY 13504-4250
Phone: 1-800-571-4646
Fax: 1-800-635-1591

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