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A Comprehensive Guide to Using Drip Trays: Enhancing Workplace Safety & Efficiency

07 Sep 2023
65L general purpose drip tray

Maintaining a safe and efficient workplace is fundamental to any business, but it’s particularly critical when dealing with hazardous liquids. Whether your work involves oil-based products, chemicals, or other types of liquids, a crucial tool you should have in your safety arsenal is a drip tray. Drip trays, while relatively simple, play a significant role in preventing spills, containing leaks, and significantly improving workplace safety. In this guide, we expand on the various uses of drip trays in the workplace, provide advice on selecting the right type, and discuss best practices for drip tray maintenance and placement.

Often overlooked, drip trays are a cost-effective solution for containing small leaks and preventing spills from spreading. They are designed to be placed under machines, barrels, and other containers to capture any leaks or spilled liquids, preventing them from contaminating the workplace or causing slip hazards. This not only contributes to a safer workplace but also aids in compliance with environmental regulations and preventing unnecessary waste.

Choosing the right drip tray for your specific needs is dependent on a variety of factors, such as the type of liquid you’re dealing with, the volume of potential spills or leaks, and the amount of workspace available. Combined with other safety equipment, such as spill kits, chemical storage cabinets, absorbent mats, gas bottle cages, and oil skimmers, drip trays become an integral part of a comprehensive and effective workplace safety strategy.

In this ultimate guide to drip trays, we will delve deeper into the applications of drip trays, shed light on the selection process and placement, and provide tips for maintaining them. Ensuring that you are well-informed about these key aspects will help ensure a safer, cleaner, and more efficient work environment.

Applications of Drip Trays in the Workplace

Drip trays are versatile tools that can be used in various workplace settings to prevent spills, contain leaks, and manage waste. Some common applications include:

  1. Manufacturing Facilities: In factories and plants, drip trays can be placed under equipment or machinery prone to leaks, such as hydraulic systems or pumps. This placement ensures that any leaks are contained, preventing slips or contamination.
  2. Automotive Workshops: Mechanics often use drip trays to catch leaks from vehicles during fluid changes, repairs, or maintenance work, keeping their workshops clean and safe.
  3. Laboratories and Research Facilities: Drip trays can be used to catch spills or leaks that may occur while handling chemicals, minimising the risk of exposure to personnel and preventing cross-contamination.
  4. Food and Beverage Industry: In food processing plants or commercial kitchens, drip trays can be employed to manage spills and leaks involving liquids such as oils, sauces, and beverages.

Selecting the Right Drip Tray for Your Workplace

To maximise the effectiveness of a drip tray, it’s essential to select one that meets your unique workplace requirements. Consider the following factors to ensure that you choose the right drip tray for your needs:

  1. Material: Drip trays are typically made of plastic, metal, or rubber. Consider the characteristics of the liquid being handled to determine the most appropriate material. For example, chemical resistance properties may be needed for trays used with corrosive substances.
  2. Size and Capacity: Choose a tray with the appropriate dimensions and capacity to accommodate the amount and volume of liquids encountered in your workplace. This assessment ensures that the tray effectively captures and contains any spills or leaks.
  3. Spill Response: Assess the types of liquids you handle in your workplace and identify if any are hazardous. In such cases, you might need to consider additional spill response measures, like spill kits, absorbent products, and specialised PPE for your employees.

Effective Placement and Maintenance of Drip Trays

Proper placement and maintenance of drip trays are essential to maximising their effectiveness and preventing spills or leaks from creating hazards. Follow these best practices for drip tray placement and maintenance:

  1. Strategic Placement: Position drip trays beneath containers and machinery prone to leaks or drips, ensuring they cover the entire potential spill area. Conversely, consider placing trays near points where spills might naturally flow, such as doorways, drains, or floor grates.
  2. Accessible and Visible: Drip trays should be easily visible and accessible to employees while not obstructing pathways or creating trip hazards.
  3. Regular Inspection and Cleaning: Inspect drip trays frequently for accumulated liquids, cracks, or other issues that could impact their effectiveness. Clean trays as needed, ensuring that any collected waste is disposed of according to local regulations and guidelines.
  4. Employee Training: Make sure your staff is aware of the purpose of drip trays and their role in preventing and managing spills. Conduct periodic training sessions to ensure that employees are familiar with the necessary procedures for checking, cleaning, and maintaining drip trays.

Integrating Drip Trays into a Comprehensive Workplace Safety Strategy

Drip trays are valuable components of a robust workplace safety strategy, particularly when combined with complementary safety equipment. Consider implementing the following supplementary safety measures to further enhance your drip tray usage and overall workplace safety:

  1. Spill Kits: Equip your workplace with appropriate spill kits tailored to the types of liquids you handle. This provision ensures a fast response to spills, reducing potential hazards and environmental damage.
  2. Chemical Storage Cabinets: Proper storage of chemicals is crucial for minimising spills and contamination risks. Chemical storage cabinets help safely organise hazardous materials and reduce potential hazards relating to improper storage.
  3. Absorbent Mats: Placing absorbent mats around drip tray areas can help contain minor spills and leaks, further reducing the risk of slip hazards and simplifying the cleanup process.
  4. Gas Bottle Cages: Store hazardous gas cylinders securely in purpose-designed cages to minimise the risk of leaks, unauthorised access, and potential damage.
  5. Oil Skimmers: In case of oil spills, oil skimmers are essential for efficiently removing oil from water surfaces, preventing environmental harm and simplifying the cleanup process.


By understanding the role of drip trays in spill prevention and containment, you can take a significant step towards a safer, cleaner, and more efficient workplace. Careful consideration of factors like material, size, and spill response ensures that you choose the best-suited drip tray for your unique needs. In addition, implementing proper placement strategies, maintenance practices, and employee training programs will maximise the effectiveness of your drip trays.

Remember that extending your workplace safety strategy beyond drip trays, using complementary tools such as spill kits, chemical storage cabinets, absorbent mats, gas bottle cages, and oil skimmers also promotes a hazard-free work environment. Combining these safety measures and fostering a culture of workplace safety not only benefits your employees but can also positively impact your overall business performance.

Global Spill & Safety is a company focused on providing various safety supplies. They offer items like safety cabinets, cages for gas and aerosol, spill kits, and other safety equipment, including cones, signs, and personal protective gear. Check out our spill-related products today to ensure workplace safety and efficiency!

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