Using a secondary containment method for your chemicals, like an IBC bund, is essential to keep your workplace secure. However, it’s not enough to simply have them installed, they should be regularly monitored to ensure they remain in good working condition. In fact, you should carry out chemical bund integrity inspections at least once a month, to ensure the safety of your premises.
Why is chemical bund integrity testing is essential?
Minimize the risk of spills
Chemical spills are a critical safety hazard in workplace Not only can they endanger the workers’ health, damage the surrounding storage area, and potentially harm the local environment, but they’re also very difficult to clean up too. By carrying out regularly chemical bund integrity testing on your bunded storage unit, you can ensure to minimise the risk of spills.
Comply With Legal Requirements
As a result of the dangers associated with chemical spills, there are strict legal requirements in the U.K. that businesses must follow to ensure the security of your chemical storage areas. The Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH) requires you to “take all necessary measures to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances. Limit the consequences to people and the environment of any major accidents which do occur.”
They recommend to do so that you use secondary containment measures, such as IBC bunds. However, without regular integrity testing, these secondary spill containment measures will not be effective.
How should I complete bund integrity testing?
- Visually inspect the IBC bund
The first step should always be to visually inspect the bunds. Check to see if any chemicals have leaked into the bunds, or if there is any other debris inside. The bunds should be kept clear at all times, to prevent a chemical overflow. Once you have verified that the bunds are empty, scan for cracks or holes.
- Check the drain valve
Ensure the drain valve is fully closed, and can only be unlocked by authorised personnel. Next, check that it can unlock and open if needed. The open and closed positions on the valve should be clearly marked.
- Inspect the pipework
If your bunds have any pipes, valves or other equipment installed, ensure these are in good working order. All pipes should be airtight and in sturdy condition.
- Complete a water test
If possible, fill the IBC bunds with water to ensure they can safely retain a high volume of liquid. This tests the integrity of the walls, as well as any attached pipes, valves and wall mounts. If it isn’t feasible to fill the entire bund with water, then try carry out a reduced water level retention test, to check the strength of the floor of the bund and wall joints, which are some of the highest risk points.
- Note all checks in a safety log
Note each integrity test in a safety log so that other personnel are aware that you have checked the bund, This ensures that the maintenance of a bund can be easily monitored. It also provides a record which can prove valuable if any legal action is ever required.
For more information on ensuring IBC bund security, contact Safety Storage UK today. Our expert team are available to answer any of your questions on safe chemical storage.