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How to choose the right spill kit

Why do you need a spill kit?

In Australia, the Workplace Health and Safety Act requires that businesses take all reasonable steps to prevent oil and chemicals spills in the workplace.

However – accidents happen! Be prepared with a spill kit that is appropriate for the different types of substances in your workplace. Spill kits are convenient and compact bins or packs containing everything you need to mop up a spill quickly and safely. They contain the equipment you need when you need it. Plus, because they are portable, they can be positioned near potential spill areas, or near chemical or fuel storage zones.

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What’s inside a spill kit?

  • Booms and socks – basically padded ‘sausages’ that help stop the spill from spreading or entering stormwater drains
  • An absorbent material – either neutralising material, a sorbent, or a mixture of both. Sorbents are made from as sawdust, vermiculite or diatomaceous earth (also known as kitty litter!). Neutralising materials such as sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) are more common in chemical or acid spill kits.
  • Disposal bags – waste bags and containment supplies to dispose of the used booms, pillows or absorbent waste
  • PPE – typically gloves, a disposable face mask and safety eyewear, and sometimes disposable coveralls.

Spill kits can be replenished with a refill pack, so you can re-order the booms, socks, bags and PPE as a kit to store in your spill bin for next time.

Types of spill kits

Spill kits come in different types and sizes depending on the amount of potential spillage that could occur, and the substances stored around your site. These can be large ‘wheelie bin’ type kits, or small soft satchel kits.

The contents differ too, depending on whether you need to mop up hydrocarbons, oils, fuel, solvents, chemicals, acids or simply general spills like water.

With a huge diversity and array of chemicals used on site, it’s crucial to have the right spill kit for the fluids used at your site. Spill kits are sized by litres, ie a 140L spill kit is intended to absorb up to 140 litres of liquid.

General purpose spill kits

General purpose sorbent kits are suitable for mopping up most common liquids found on site or in the workshop or yard. They can soak up water and most water-based liquid including paints, coolant, cleaners and also some mild chemicals.

oil spill kitOil spill kits and spill kits for hydrocarbons

The special sorbents in these kits have the ability to soak up hydrocarbons and oils whilst also repelling water. This makes these sorbents ideal for marine environments, lakes and dams, or for mopping up spills in naturally wet workshop environments where you don’t necessarily want to soak up all the water as well. Kits such as the Sorbex 120L Marine Oil Spill Kit are unique in that they contain floating booms; large snake-like socks that float on water and provide up to 12 metres of containment area. This stops oil spills near water from spreading into stormwater drains or sensitive environmental areas.

Chemical spill kits

Chemical sorbents are ideal for workshops or sites where aggressive or corrosive chemicals are used, such as hydrofluoric acid. They will also absorb oils and water-based liquids however the different type of sorbent material allows it to withstand highly aggressive chemicals.

Other ways to contain spills in the workplace

Floor sweep

If you don’t require a complete spill kit for a certain area, a simple bag of floor sweep is handy to keep nearby. Natural organic sorbents such as Sorbex floor sweep are lightweight and very absorbent, able to contain around 40 litres of oil.


To manage spills before they get out of hand, PVC bunds such as our 4 Drum Quick Bund can be used to temporarily store fuel drums, machines or leaking equipment. They are a compact folding mat with a walled edge that helps contain leaks and small spills, or quarantines leaking equipment.

Spill Pallets

Spill pallets are hollow blow moulded polyethylene pallets that have a grate over the top and a hollow containment area in the bottom, so leaking equipment or drums can spill into the base of the pallet, not on the floor. The spill pallet available from Jaybro has a 2700kg weight rating and its tyne slots mean it can be shifted and moved like a normal pallet.

Need help choosing a spill kit? 

The customer service team at Jaybro can assist! We can help you determine which spill kit is best for your site. Give our friendly crew a call on 1300 885 364 in Australia, or 0800 865 292 in New Zealand.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as an introductory guide only and does not constitute professional advice. Ensure you make your own independent enquiries before deciding this product is right for you. Consult the regulations and standards applicable to your area and check with your workplace health and safety representative for further information. Jaybro does not warrant the accuracy, content, completeness or suitability of the information on this site (or any site owned by the Jaybro Group) for your individual purposes.

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