Last week, one of our RSK Raw teams attended a site to examine a spill of an unconfirmed volume of waste engine and gear oil from a 2700 litre oil tank, and this incident served as a reminder of how  businesses need to be aware of the rolling repercussions of COVID-19.  

Like all other service industries, local waste collection schedules may well have been impacted by limited staffing, meaning waste oil tanks are more likely to be fuller than normal. Factoring in reduced staff on worksites as well, there is a higher chance spills will go unnoticed until they have caused significant damage.  

With this particular waste oil tank, the team found they had a challenge on their hands. The indoor oil tank was located adjacent to shelving stores that act as supports to the floor above – and that’s not all – a local river also happened to be only 250 metres and a drain away from the spill site.  

The options? Possibly either cut up the tank or take down an external wall clad with ACM. All in all, not the simplest spill to deal with. Its uncertain exactly how long this tank had been leaking but, given the disruption to regular waste collection services and staffing, it provides a timely warning to all – don’t forget to check your waste tank! 


spill from waste oil tank and the river it threatens