Why use chemical bunds?
Chemical bunds are required by law for the safe storage of various chemicals in Australia. Many people however, use IBC bunds for its associated benefits even when it is not required. This is because the cost savings in the event of a spill justify the purchase of the bunds. The relevant Australian standards include but are not limited to:
- AS3833: The storage and handling of mixed classes of dangerous goods in packages and intermediate bulk containers
- AS3780: The storage and handling of corrosive substances
For information on which Australian Standards are relevant to your business please see the SAI Global Guide.
Factors to consider when purchasing chemical bunds
- Health hazards — what health risks would a chemical spill pose to workers? Are the workers at risk of personal harm from burns or poisoning? Bunds are an automated containment option that allows staff to evacuate from the spill location, leaving the bund to do the work.
- Chemical properties — could the chemicals damage plant property and equipment, or do the chemicals require special treatment in the case of a clean up?
- Site vulnerability — is the job site vulnerable to external factors such as weather events or vehicle and machinery operation? Is the site monitored frequently for damaged IBC’s or could a leak go unnoticed? Are the chemicals secure or are they at risk of theft or vandalism?
- Containers — what type of chemical containers are being used and are they vulnerable to cracking, deterioration or overfilling? IBC’s may fail if they are exposed to the harsh Australian climate.
- Environmental hazards — what is the impact of the chemicals on the environment and how easily can the chemicals be removed? Are there waterways or underground water stores at risk of contamination?
- Costs of a spill – there are direct costs to consider for a chemical spill such as the wasted chemicals and the cost of materials and labour for the clean up. Other costs include the opportunity cost of a spill which includes lost productivity during a traditional spill clean up.
By considering these factors you can evaluate your need for chemical bunds. In most cases, the cost of a spill and the resulting clean up make the purchase decision for IBC bunds an easy choice.
The clean up process
The spilled chemicals are fully contained within the bunds and can be conveniently transferred using a pump connected to a tap in the reservoir of the bund. Spill clean up is simple and efficient meaning productivity loss is minimised. This avoids lengthy clean up procedures that are costly and involve significant down time. With bunds the chemical contents can even be reused as long as the bund reservoir is kept clean and contaminant free, reducing the cost of a spill even further.