The Workplace Safety Blog

Safety & Fall Prevention Insights From Carbis Solutions

Spill Containment

| Jan 25, 2012 8:05:00 AM

The Boy Scouts have a great motto, "Be Prepared". Accidents happen. Sometimes there really is no way around it. Of course if you're properly prepared there will be less chance of having an accident but because humans drive tank trucks and trains that carry toxic chemicals, spill containment is necessary.

In the past few decades there has been a lot more attention given to the protection of the environment. When your operators are handling hazardous materials, not only do the workers need to be safe but they also need to be prepared to contain a spill or leak per OSHA and EPA requirements.

Oil and chemical spills can seep into ground or run off into the water supply. That’s why transloading facilities must verify if they require spill containment systems. Failure to install a system could result in regulatory fines and expensive clean-up costs should there ever be an accident. Don’t take that kind of chance.

Most spills happen because of:
• a leaky valve
• a failure in the hose or valve connection
• an accidental overfill
• a residual spill from disconnected equipment

Spill containment and collection systems can usually be constructed to meet each customer’s unique specifications. The material needed will depend on the type of liquid being transloaded, the surrounding environment, the facility location and more.

Spill containment track pans help ensure safety in several ways:
• heavy-gauge carbon steel construction is stronger and more durable than fiberglass
• pans can also be made using galvanized steel, stainless steel or aluminum
• steel construction helps avoid the cracking that often results in leaks with non-steel pans
• position end-to-end for continuous coverage
• metal pans can be relocated at minimum cost when yard layouts change or if you move locations
• can include a center pan and two side pans linked with a cross drain
• fasteners are stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance and all gaskets are neoprene rubber
• combo truck/rail spill pans available
• optional steam heating and rain covers

Many railcar spill containment systems have a center pan and two side pans linked with a cross drain. Cross drains are installed at right angles to the track between the ties to force waste and rainwater into underdrains that lead to treatment and disposal facilities. Pans can adapt better to spaces where there are platforms, curves, and turnouts. If a facility is located in an area with exceptionally cold winters, it’s possible to run steam through the system to keep liquids warm enough to flow.

Track pans are an ideal solution for controlling soil and/or water contamination at truck and rail transloading sites. Pans and drains can be easily installed on existing or new tracks. This means minimum track downtime. A modular system can also save your company money because if there’s every any damage, only the damaged section needs to be replaced so there’s minimal cost.

Spill containment systems should be self-draining and able to handle a high flow rate. If a lot of foot traffic is expected through this area, optional bar grated surfaces should be added above the track pans to protect workers from slips and falls. Pan covers are designed to eliminate "pooling" of rain that falls on top of the covers. Rain is channeled onto the ballast between the tracks and away from the pans. In addition, this heavy-duty grating over high traffic areas allows workers to walk over the pans without damaging them.

Meeting spill containment requirements for rail cars and tank trucks is easy when you partner with Carbis. We help you determine which materials are needed for your specific type of work so you’ll be able to clean up quickly if an actual leak or spill does occur. Our track pans are easy to install and remove when needed. Spill containment systems save time, loss of business, heavy fines and downtime. Contact Carbis today and find out how our track pans can keep your employees and the environment safe from toxic leaks and spills.

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