What is a Spill Containment Barrier and How They Help?

Last Updated On Sep 9, 2021

Spill berms… barriers… bunds… dikes… How are you supposed to sort through it all and determine the best solution for containing potential spills in your workplace? While it can be confusing weeding through the various options, we’ve successfully helped people just like you find the right solution at the best price. This article will help you evaluate your options and explore the various types of containment products and how they each function to contain spills.

What is a Spill Containment Barrier?

So, you’re asking, “what is a spill containment barrier?” and “how can they help me prevent spills in my workplace?” Simply put, a spill containment barrier is any product that barricades liquid spills from spreading, either by containing the spill or directing it to a designated place. They exist to stop chemicals, oils, water, etc. from spreading to other surfaces or contaminating soil and groundwater, which could lead to environmental fines at your workplace.

Traditionally, spill barriers were simple bunds or dikes that could be placed on the ground to create a small physical barrier. These are best at directing liquids and do not contribute to containment in most cases. Because of this, spill berms have come into favor in recent years as they provide both direction AND containment because they include a floor as part of their design.

The Importance of Using a Spill Containment Barrier

While it would be easy and convenient to simply allow a spilled or leaked liquid to flow into a nearby drain or soil, we are regulated against these actions by OSHA and the EPA, as the effects could cause irreparable harm to others. In addition to the illegality and potentially significant fiscal fines, spills can cause dangerous hazards for your staff. The use of spill containment barriers and spill containment berms can help you prevent all of these at affordable prices.

Types of Spill Containment Barriers

While a traditional spill containment barrier may be suitable for your needs, perhaps a spill containment berm would be a more proactive solution for preventing spills. There are many easy-to-use and economical spill berms on the market, made from chemical resistant materials that you could incorporate into your business. The inclusion of a flat base/floor in addition to barrier walls make portable spill containment berms a more ideal spill prevention tool. Here are just a few options available from PacTec:

  • Collapsible spill tray – ideal for small items like drums or batteries, the collapsible spill containment tray can even be rolled up, strapped, and stored while not in use.
  • Foam sidewall spill containment berm –foam sidewalls are economically priced and suitable for situations in which you may need to load/remove items in and out of containment. The walls are easily rolled over by equipment but not spilled liquids.
  • Hinge bracket spill containment berm – these single-piece berms with integrated, encased hinged brackets can quickly go from flat to upright position in seconds.
  • Pop-up spill containment berms – with permanently attached, encased folding brackets, these berms can be a more long-term spill solution.

In Conclusion

We hope we’ve been able to offer you some guidance on the similarities and differences of traditional spill containment barriers/dams and spill containment berms. It’s been our experience that spill barriers are better suited for spill response when leaked chemicals/liquids need to be guided towards a collection or disposal method, whereas spill berms are part of a proactive approach to spill prevention. If you need assistance with determining the proper solution for your needs or would like to discuss your SPCC plans with one of our spill prevention experts, please reach out. Together we can keep workplaces safe and our groundwater and soils free of contamination.

Topics: Containment industrial waste