In the event of a workplace oil spill, a quick response is essential to preventing a moderate discharge from turning into a significant environmental mishap. Dallys Industrial Services Ltd. is introducing a unique first-response system that’s designed to cut down reaction time to ensure a fast and safe recovery.
“The big thing is, you have to keep it local,” said Ken Zeitz, the production co-ordinator at Dallys. “If it gets away on you, well, then it’s a disaster. But if you can keep it localized, it’s no big deal.”
Based in Falconbridge, an outlying community of Sudbury, the company manufactures components for the diamond-drilling industry, but is also a distributor of Pigmalion Environmental spill cleanup products, primarily servicing the mining industry.
It’s through the environmental-cleanup arm of the company that Dallys has set up a self-serve spill-response station that will allow clients to access the supplies they need when they have a spill.
Dallys has fenced off a mini-shop at the back of its warehouse where customers can pick up supplies at any time of the day. Registered clients will be given an access code, and once inside, can open the garage door, load up a truck with the supplies they need and lock up before they leave.
“People would be able to come in and take whatever they require,” Zeitz said. “We’ll have a sheet there—they fill out what they’ve taken—and then in the morning there will be a purchase order for that issued.”
On the shelves is a range of heavy-grade products, all colour-coded for easy identification, that should meet any client’s needs, Zeitz said.
There are absorbent pads for hydraulic and engine oils that won’t leach out into a landfill; Multisorb, a non-silica-based granular absorbent useful in underground environments; drain covers; and “socks” used to contain spills on water ways. Garbage bags, aprons, gloves, goggles and booties are all available to make the cleanup as easy as possible.
Pigmalion owner Kendra Dunlop said Dallys is the first distributor to introduce this kind of initiative, although her company is looking at instating a similar system with a distributor in Toronto.
“We saw a need and we’re trying to be as responsive as possible to our customers,” she said. “We’re not the first spill-response company to have done it, but we’re the first to have done it in this way.”
Having access to spill-response supplies doesn’t negate the need to have a spill kit on site, she cautioned, but it can help speed up response time.
“When you need to call someone, it takes time,” Dunlop said. “When your business is responding to a spill, you don’t have time to wait.”
Often, people are faced with unusual situations, such as a recent example of a truck driver transporting oil in Mississauga that tipped over and spilled its load, she said. Having spill-response supplies on hand can mean an immediate start to cleanup.
Initially, Dallys will invite select clients to participate, and if all goes well, it will expand into other industries. Zeitz said the company would like to work with first responders such as firefighters, but truckers, construction workers and automechanics could also benefit from the service.
Zeitz said he’s noticed a trend in recent years for more companies to emphasize environmental responsibility, as company values change and more businesses are acknowledging the public’s sensitivity to all things environmental. People are conscientious at home, so why not at work, he reasoned.
But even if the program takes off, it’s unlikely Dallys will physically expand its facility. If needed, the company can stock the self-serve store with more supplies more often, Zeitz said. In this case, success is a double-edged sword.
“I hope it never gets to the point where we have to expand, because it means that people are being sloppy on the job,” Zeitz said.