Commonly these happen when a hydraulic pipe bursts, but occasionally can be caused by other reasons such as fuel tank rupture, engine sump damage or other hydraulic system failure.
As with all things prevention is better than cure. Inspecting and changing hydraulic pipes that are showing wear or deterioration can help save some pipe bursts, and can be done at a convenient time, saving down time. Undersides of machines can be protected for the forest environment and roads maintained to minimise potential damage.
Where fluids are held on site then they are to be in bunded storage in case of damage to, or failure of, the container. Spill kits must also be on site.
But how big a spill kit should you have? That is a question that is often asked.
The answer will depend on the volume of liquids being held on site, and how many containers that it is divided into. Damage to one large container could result in all the fluid being spilt, the same total volume but in many containers is less likely to result in the same volume of fluid being spilt as it is less likely that all containers will be damaged at the same time.
Once you have considered what your foreseeable largest fluid spill could be then you can assess the size of your required spill kit. You don’t need enough spill material to soak up the whole spill but sufficient spill containment kit, containing enough booms, to contain the spill until it can be dealt with safely.
A small response spill bag in the cab of a machine should be carried to quickly deal with a spill while the main spill kit is retrieved from a central point on site.
Remember to check spill kits are of the correct type, i.e., General, Oil Only or Chemical Only and that the kit is full and ready for use on a regular basis. Keep a record of these checks. This is essential for audits and can really help spot patterns of usage giving clues as to which machines are having the most issues.
Finally, train your teams in the use of spill kits, do they know how to use booms to contain a spill for later vacuum removal, or how to create a dam on water? Do they know the difference between oil and chemical-only pads?
Where fluids are held on site then they are to be in bunded storage in case of damage to the container.