Worker checking the warehouse inventory

Bunding: What It Is and When You Need It

When you are managing warehouses, workshops and storage facilities, you need a fully integrated solution since activities are diverse and processes can be complex. You can upgrade equipment and tools, install automated systems or infuse a more advanced information technology infrastructure, but there is one simple yet reliable solution in storing and handling materials better: bunding. For sure, an IBC bund comes to mind. Yes, those bright-coloured containers are extremely dependable.

Bunding Explained

Bunding is a way to contain spillage and leaks from liquids that are used or stored. A bund, according to the Australian Standard AS 4452B1997, which discusses the storage and handling of toxic substances, is an embankment of earth, brick, concrete or other similar material. The bund can be as small as a few cubic metres or as wide as a compound where the liquid is contained. The bund’s wall is impervious just as the floor that forms the bunded area.

Bunds are made specifically to minimise spills and their potential effects. But they can actually do more, especially in a warehouse setting. They can be used for fire protection purposes, recovering products, and in process isolation.

Do You Need Bunding?

Warehouse employees checking a warehouseFor a warehouse or workshop, bunding is necessary, especially with intermediate bulk containers. But to gauge if you need bunding in your business operations, you need to assess a few factors, such as the level of risk in your facility as well as the type of drainage system you have.

If the type of liquid you use or store is potentially harmful to the environment, for instance, you need to use bunding. The same is true if you are storing a huge amount of liquid or you are storing it for a considerable length of time. Some of the common substances that need to be bunded are new and waste oil, diesel, paint, pesticides, acids and coolant. You also need to consider the capability of your facility to prevent spills and leaks.

If the type of your facility is a chemical, petroleum or processing facility, bunding is also required. Much so if you drain to the sewer or wastewater treatment plants. Take note that spills in these facilities can pass through the plant to the environment, which can cause severe damage. Other areas where spills are common are service stations, transfer points and wash bays.

What Should Your Employees Do?

While bunding can greatly minimise the risk of spills and leaks, your employees also play a huge role here. They should conduct regular preventive maintenance, which includes inspections of the pumps, pipes and valves. They should also know how to handle emergency situations. They should be prepared to use fire-fighting equipment, for example, and prevent leaks and spills from reaching the environment.

Warehouses and similar facilities are sites that hold many liquid substances that need to be secured correctly. Whether they are a product or an input to production processes, a containment system is highly advisable. And one of the most reliable answers you have is bunding.