Use IBC Bunds to Keep Your Workplace Safe

Intermediate Bulk Containers, or IBCs, are used in many workplaces – typically to store and transport hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and waste products. These containers have a large capacity and they are particularly popular because they are reusable and can be mounted on a pallet for easy movement and positioning with a forklift or pallet truck.

Unfortunately, whenever liquids are stored or transferred between containers there is a risk of spillage and leakage and, because IBCs typically hold high volumes, the impact of such an incident is significant.

The best way to mitigate these risks and proactively deal with any spills and leaks is by using an IBC bund.

What is an IBC bund?

An IBC bund is a form of secondary containment (the IBC being the primary containment). Essentially, it is a container that you place your IBC pallet on top of, and any leaks or spills are automatically collected without any manual intervention – ensuring that they don’t become threats to health and safety, damage equipment or property or enter the ecosystem.

Does an IBC bund need maintenance?

When you have installed your IBC bund, you will need to do some minor maintenance and checks periodically: 

     Make sure you drain the tank regularly (and after any major spills) to ensure there is room inside for the next spill

     Check the integrity of the bund – make sure there are no cracks or leaks in the secondary containment. Top quality IBC bunds should retain integrity for a long time, but these checks still need to take place.

     Make sure that the bund is being used correctly: ensure that it is not overloaded – for example, too much weight could cause damage to the structure – and that the bund has capacity to contain a spill equal to the volume of the liquid stored

     Check that tanks are positioned correctly on top of the bund, so that liquids cannot overspill the sides

     Check that the liquid being stored does not negatively react with the bund materials

What do I need to look out for when I am purchasing an IBC bund?

First, you’ll need to know how big your bund needs to be – in terms of depth, height and width, and also the volume of liquid it can collect. Secondly, think about where you are storing your IBC – if it is outdoors, then you’ll need a covered bund unit to prevent rainwater from filling up the secondary containment unit. These are similar to indoor bunds, but have a large framed tent over the top, or even a secure/lockable steel container. Lastly – how will you move the bund if you need to? Most IBC bunds have integrated fork pockets or channels, with some models having four-way access for more versatility.

Any additional features?

     Bunds with removable trays will help to speed up cleaning and emptying the container

     Units made from recycled materials are better for the environment

     Double-size bunds can hold two IBCs

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge.