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Oil spills happen. Sometimes they’re major oil spills that require significant intervention, and other times they’re small spills that can be handled internally. But regardless of whether an oil spill is small or large – it’s a matter that must be taken seriously.

At Can-Ross Environmental Services Ltd., we’re considered leaders in the spill control and containment space. However, we’d much rather prefer that spills didn’t happen in the first place. And that’s precisely why we’d like to provide you with some useful tips for preventing oil spills.

Tips for Preventing Oil Spills

  1. Start by identifying the hazardous products you’re working with at your facility. This should be a comprehensive list of materials – regardless of the frequency of use. If something is even potentially dangerous, it should be included on the list.
  2. Draft written standard procedure documents that detail precisely what should be done if a spill occurs. There should be procedure documents for each hazardous material and chemical. The response plan should be comprehensive yet succinct. Develop step-by-step instructions that can be followed by anyone.
  3. Keep spill control products close at hand anytime work begins with a hazardous material. For a quick response, spill control products should be stored on or near equipment, as well as in clearly labeled storage bins inside places like factory floors, warehouses, and laboratories.
  4. All employees must be educated on standard procedures for spills – not just certain employees who are most likely to encounter spills. By educating all employees and staff, you ensure that spills are quickly and properly contained (as opposed to waiting for the right person to arrive on the scene).
  5. All employees should be educated on how to use the correct spill control products with the proper techniques. Anytime you add a new product, all employees should be trained to use it accordingly. Otherwise, the products are useless.
  6. Sturdy shelves should be used for the storage of all chemical products. It’s also important that your chemical storage meets the guidelines that are set in place by OSHA. This means using proper labeling; segregating incompatible chemicals; placing flammable materials in approved storage cabinets; etc. For a comprehensive list of requirements and suggestions on how to store chemicals – please utilize this resource.
  7. Large containers should always be stored as close to the floor as possible. Not only does this prevent massive spills and/or falling risks, but it also makes it easier to access the chemicals without having to reach around other products. Furthermore, these large containers should be physically inspected every week.
  8. Regularly inspect containers for rust and other damage. If you notice any visible signs of compromised storage containers – or the presence of leaks – follow the rules outlined in your written standard procedures.

Prepare Your Organization for Spills

While it’s much better when an organization can prevent oil and chemical spills from happening in the first place, they do occur. And when you’re in the immediate aftermath of a hazardous spill, it’s helpful to have the right tools and equipment on hand.

For more information about the range of our spill control and containment products, click here!


Can-Ross Environmental Services Ltd. is a leading provider of spill control and containment products and assessments in Canada. Serving the most dynamic businesses in the country, we provide security and peace of mind by identifying spill risks and providing practical and effective solutions to those risks.

 Are you prepared for a spill? Get Protected Here.

Read More from Can-Ross:
How Often Do You Need to Inspect Hazardous Waste Containers?
Best Practices to Prevent Stormwater Pollution
How to Approach Oil Spill Containment and Clean Up

About Terry Edgar

Terry Edgar is the President of Can-Ross. In this role, Terry works to develop and execute key strategic objectives and build relationships with customers, distribution partners, suppliers, and staff members. Terry has been in the industry for over two decades and has worked in all areas of the business, including manufacturing, operations, customer service, sales, sales management, and marketing. Outside of Can-Ross, Terry is an avid outdoorsman and a proud husband and father of two young boys.