Safe Storage Solutions: Everything You Need to Know About IBC Bunding

Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) are essential for their versatility and capacity in industries relying on liquid storage. However, while most commercial containment units can store large amounts of liquid, many do not adequately reduce the impact of potential accidents. This is where secondary containment, specifically IBC, plays a crucial role.

This bunding provides an extra layer of protection, capturing potential leaks or spills. Whether you’re managing a chemical plant, storing hazardous substances in a warehouse, or a food processing facility, understanding these principles is crucial for maintaining a safe and compliant work environment.

What is an IBC Bund?

An IBC bund is a specialised containment system consisting of a large tray or platform where chemical containers or drums are placed. The purpose is to provide secondary containment in case of leaks or spills from the stored containers. If a chemical container or drum leaks, the spilled chemical or liquid is captured and retained within the bund, preventing it from spreading onto the surrounding area and causing environmental or safety hazards.

The durable IBC bunds are crucial for compliance with regulations and minimising the risk of contamination in facilities that handle hazardous substances. They are typically made from sturdy materials resistant to chemicals, ensuring effective containment and facilitating easier cleanup procedures when incidents occur.

Importance of IBC Bunding

IBC bunding

IBC bund use is vital for protecting your surroundings, machinery, and most importantly, your employees and customers from contamination due to leaks or spills of hazardous substances. Australian companies must comply with Safe Work regulations by providing proper equipment and training to respond to accidents effectively. This includes using IBC containment pallets, simple yet effective devices that meet workplace safety guidelines.

Moreover, cleanup after a chemical leak can be expensive. That’s why using bunded pallets to contain spills minimises cleanup costs and reduces the risks of environmental damage and safety hazards. Investing in IBC bunds not only ensures compliance but also creates a safer work environment for everyone involved, saving you money in the long run while protecting your business and community from potential harm.

Types of IBC Containment Pallets

There are two main types of IBC containment pallets: those made from plastic and those made from steel. Plastic IBC containment pallets are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and suitable for various chemical storage applications. They are often preferred for their ease of handling and maintenance. Plastic pallets can withstand exposure to various chemicals and are available in different designs to accommodate specific IBC sizes and configurations.

On the other hand, steel IBC containment pallets offer robust durability and strength, making them suitable for heavy-duty industrial environments. Steel pallets are highly resistant to impact and provide reliable containment for hazardous materials. They are recommended if you plan to move the bunds with a forklift or similar vehicle due to their durability and weight-bearing capacity. Additionally, steel pallets are best suited for storing highly flammable chemicals, offering enhanced safety and security against fire hazards.

How to Select the Right IBC Bunding Solution?

IBC bund

To select the right IBC bunded pallets solution for your facility, it’s important to consider several factors:

  • Type of Facility: Assess the nature of your facility, whether it’s a chemical plant, warehouse, or food processing facility, to understand the specific requirements and regulations applicable to your industry.
  • Types of Chemicals/Materials Used Onsite: Identify the types of chemicals or materials stored and handled in your facility. Different chemicals may require specific bunding materials or designs to ensure compatibility and safety.
  • Risk Levels for Leaks/Spills: Evaluate the potential risk levels for leaks or spills based on the properties and quantities of the chemicals stored. This helps determine the level of containment and robustness required for the IBC bunding solution.
  • Volume of Chemicals Stored: Consider the volume of chemicals stored in IBCs to determine the capacity and size of the bunding solution needed to contain potential spills effectively.
  • Size of IBCs: Take into account the size and dimensions of the IBCs used in your facility. Ensure that the bunding solution can accommodate the size and number of IBCs without compromising containment effectiveness.
  • Location of Storage Containers: Position storage containers and IBCs away from drains or water sources to prevent contamination of soil or water bodies in case of spills. Proper placement of storage areas is crucial for environmental protection and compliance with regulations.

Inspection and Maintenance

Inspection and maintenance of IBC bunds are essential for ensuring their effectiveness and longevity, especially for uncovered bunds exposed to the elements. That said, regularly check for corrosion, cracks, or other damage, and promptly address any issues to prevent leaks or spills. Keep the bund clean and free from debris to maintain its integrity.

With proper care and use, IBC bund pallets can have a long lifespan. You should also consider conducting monthly integrity visual inspections to detect potential issues early and ensure continuous compliance with safety regulations. Regular maintenance routines are key to maximising the durability of IBC bund systems, ultimately safeguarding your business and the health of your employees.