SafetyVet SafetyVet

"Solutions for the Veterinary Professions"
View Your Shopping Cart

Call us at (423) 336-1925

Can we make our own chemical spill kit instead of purchasing a commercial one?

There is no specific regulation that requires the veterinary practice to assemble or maintain a specific chemical spill kit for general chemical use. However, there are regulations that would require any business to clean up accidental spills properly and without excessive exposure to the staff. So, in the end, it’s probably best for every practice to assemble or purchase a spill kit --- just in case.

The contents of a veterinary chemical spill kit are predominately determined by the chemicals present in the hospital and the expected severity of spills that are likely to occur. In most practices, a single spill kit can be assembled to cover the wide variety of chemicals present. By assembling the components in advance, the cleanup procedure is significantly expedited and that results in less exposure, less danger and the staff gets back to work faster.

There are special pre-packaged spill kits containing commercial absorbent pads (like the ones used for oil spills) and chemical inactivators that can be purchased, but in most practices a spill kit can be made from materials already in the practice.

A typical veterinary practice's chemical spill kit should include:

  • A plastic container to keep the materials together. A Rubbermaid® or similar container (with a lid) large enough to contain about 5 gallons of material is suitable for most situations in a veterinary practice. Make sure the container is clearly labeled as a chemical spill kit; some practice even paint the container a "high visibility" color. This container can also be used as a waste receptacle for disposal of spilled materials that must be handled as hazardous waste.

  • Cat litter or other absorbent material. About 3 gallons of absorbent is usually enough to clean up a spill from 1 gallon of liquid.

  • Two pairs of thick nitrile or latex gloves.

  • At least one (preferably two) sets of protective eye wear designed for chemical fume protection.

  • Four durable, disposable plastic trash bags large enough to hold the entire amount of absorbent material in the kit plus material that may be contaminated when the spill happens.

  • A small "dust broom" and pan for picking up the absorbent material.

  • Tape or zip ties to close the trash bags after use.

  • A laminated copy of the spill clean-up procedures for the chemicals used in the practice. (Click here for a printable PDF of a spill clean-up procedure sheet.)

Remember to immediately replace any components of the spill kit that are consumed.

Find a suitable place to keep the assembled kit. Ideally it should be easily stored in an accessible location - meaning it can be found and used in a matter of less than a minute or two. Avoid keeping the spill kit "locked away" in the back of a cabinet or buried underneath other supplies.

Establish an inspection system to make sure the contents of the spill kit are checked. A monthly "content check" is most practical since other safety devices (like fire extinguishers and emergency lights) must also be checked on a monthly basis.


Did You Know...?

Commercial spill kits are available from many sources, including on-line stores, but no matter what kit is used, the employer MUST ENSURE the staff is properly trained on it's location adn proper use.