Management Of Hydrocarbon/hazardous Spillages

As a company that started its operations focused on the collection of used oil, it was only logical a few steps into the business that Champs Botswana have a business section devoted mainly to the management of spillages for its clients.  Companies, whether in the petroleum industry of not, may find themselves faced with the problem of spillages either on pavements, soils or any other surfaces they may be working on? Spillages on Paved or concreted areas can easily be washed off by the use of environmentally friendly degreasers but those on soils may need to be handled differently considering hydrocarbons contain toxic organics and heavy metals that render the soils barren upon contamination or in water resources.

This, therefore makes it very important to have a spill management team that understands the stakes and is well equipped to handle whatever type or magnitude of spillage you are faced with.Champs Botswana has equipment dedicated to its spill management sector including emergency spill response vehicles - well equipped with fire extinguishers, first aid kit box and a spill kit for you emergency spillages. Spillages need to be reported to and attended to immediately or as soon as practicable possible to reduced impact on the environment. It is however, very important to note that all spillages should be treated as significant regardless of their size and should be reported and attendant to.

Steps to follow during an Emergency Spill:

Secure the scene

  • Area of the spill to be closed off with a barrier tape.
  • Assess all risks involved and implement preventive measures e.g. on tarred roads place warning triangles to prevent further accidents from oncoming traffic.
  • Person not wearing appropriate PPE and unauthorized person should not be allowed into the closed off spill area

Assess the spill

  • Identify the source of the spill.
  • Identify which products of spill kit are appropriate for use in the cleaning of the spill
  • If the cause is a leak of flow, stop the flow immediately by closing valves or lead, use booms or socks.
  • Identity the estimated quantity of the spill.
  • Identity the surface type of where the pill occurred, to determine the method of decontamination. For paved, tarred surfaces or floors; use a degreaser to clean up the area. Organoclean MB or OSS 2000 can be used.

Containing the spill

  • Using appropriate absorbent booms, bar off the area surrounding the spill, ensuring that no oil or water can spill beyond the barricade.
  • Special attention should be given to storm water drain and manholes to ensure that none of the spilled product enters.
  • For leaking pipes place a lined absorbent pad underneath the pipe until it is repaired.

Recovery absorption

  • Using the spark free dustpan and brush, scoop as much of the spilled product into drums, flow bins, plastic bags or any appropriate form of emergency containment as possible
  • Following this exercise, apply fibre sorb or peat sorb in order to absorb the remaining product
  • Using the spark free brush, sweep the absorbed product together and shovel into the recovery bags that are provided in the spill kit.


  • Area of the spill will be left with a stain which can be cleared using the degreasers provided in the spill kit. The degreasers used are water based and environmental friendly.
  • Wash and flash the area with water.
  • All equipment and PPE should be cleaned thoroughly after use. Cleaning at the washbay area will be ideal

Large spillages

  • Upon assessing the spillage and realising it cannot be contained using a truck spill kit
  • Call for the 24/7 emergency assistant from the Champs Botswana office; 5729224 /71802843 72331509/ 72331510
  • A spill kit for the larger spills will be taken to the spill site within the shortest possible time.
  • Need Equipment and products for Emergency Spillage Preparedness? Follow the link
  • Only bio-chemicals/agents will be used for the rehabilitation of the soils and environmentally friendly degreasers for cleaning spillages on pavements as per the company policy and safe environmental practices