What Are The Main Types Of Oil Spills?

Wednesday 3rd August 2022

Alice Redshaw

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At ICE Cleaning, we provide oil spill cleaning cleaning services across the UK, utilising advanced solutions and technologies to deliver excellent results for our customers. Operating 24/7, 365 days a year, we are on hand to help you whenever you need them. 

For more detail about how to manage oil products and what to do when a spill takes place, have a look at this information provided by the Government.

In this blog, we explore some of the main causes of oil spills in the UK, and what damage they can cause to human health, wildlife and the surrounding environment.

Hydraulic oil

Hydraulic oil is used widely in industries such as agriculture and motoring, helping ensure the operation of machinery runs seamlessly. Its uses include:

  • As a method for energy transfer
  • Lubrication
  • Sealing

Mostly made up of mineral oil or synthetics with additives, hydraulic oil is considered dangerous for the environment. The additives and toxins found in this matter also threaten the health of animals and humans, so any leak should be cleaned up as soon as possible.

Get in touch with our team promptly if you face an oil leak. They will carry out thorough safety checks prior to any work being completed, including an an environmental risk assessment.

Gasoline and petrol

Gasoline and petrol are used in the automotive industry to fuel engines, and are highly flammable substances. Risks to humans from exposure include nausea, skin irritation and breathing problems. If a spillage has occurred, the area must be isolated and the professionals called to clean it up.

For the environment, the consequences are devastating if the spillage is not contained. It can contaminate the ground and plants, as well as negatively effect ecological processes. Animals may suffer from destruction of their habit, and face a decline in populations due to gasoline and petrol impacting reproductive systems.

Other dangers include carbon monoxide found in gasoline, which does not smell and is not visible to the human eye. If you have any suspicions that an oil spill has taken place, it is vital that it is dealt with as soon as possible. 

There is additionally a strong fire risk associated with these substances, as they are highly flammable. This could be dangerous for those in the surrounding area, even causing fatalities in some instances.

Cooking oil

Cooking oil is utilised frequently in both domestic and commercial properties. For commercial enterprises that fry most of their food, careful precautions must be taken. Not only can a spillage be dangerous, but it also creates a fire hazard. 

If you have experienced a cooking oil spill, call in a specialist cleaning company. Similar to other kinds of oil spill, the impact on the environment is severe, potentially causing damage to wildlife, plants, and humans. 

Usually consisting of animal or plant fats, cooking oil can reduce the oxygen levels in animals, making it difficult for them to breathe. If any wildlife is drenched in this oil, they can also suffer from ailments such as dehydration or starvation. The ramifications for these actions, especially on protected wildlife, may be severe.

Injury is possible for humans in the near vicinity too, such as from splashes or slip risks. This can result in skin irritation or burning, and could need hospital treatment. Due to these risks, it is crucial that strict safety practices are in place to prevent spills.

Ensure that your staff are trained in workplace safety and hazardous substance handling, and understand the risk associated with oil use. You can also help reduce the likelihood of spills by keeping the workplace clean to stop grease and oil building-up.


Diesel spills can occur because of issues such as a fault with the vehicle tank or any damaged seals. These kinds of leaks often take place due to road traffic accidents or because of leaks from HGVs.

In the event of a diesel spill, the affected area must be isolated as with other types of oil until the professionals can make the area safe once more. 

Some accidents associated with diesel can be a result of human error in the handling of the substance, so thorough training must be given to individuals who are responsible for working with it.

At ICE Cleaning, we have years of experience in the field, so we've got you covered. Our technicians will wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) throughout the diesel spill cleaning to tackle the issue, as well as follow the correct safety regulations. All of these measures help to protect the health of all of the parties involved.

We are oil spillage cleaning specialists

Our experienced technicians can carry out an oil spill clean in all types of environment, including:

  • On soil
  • In the ocean
  • Underground 
  • In freshwater
  • Pavement 

The team face many hazards during the clean, for example from substances like by-products, dispersants and detergents. We ensure all technicians undertake thorough training before performing any work of this nature. 

In this specialist training, the experts develop a strong understanding of the oil remediation process. This involves, but is not limited to, the following points:

  • Having knowledge of what responsibilities need to be completed and when to achieve optimal results.
  • Learning to not handle unmarked or unlabelled containers
  • Excellent comprehension of the decontamination process for dealing with the oil spill, in order to restore the site to a safe and hygienic condition. 

At all levels of the business, we take the well-being of our staff and customers extremely seriously. If you wish to find out more about our health and safety procedures, take a look at our dedicated page.

Contact us today

To book our oil spill cleaning services, reach out to our team on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. A member of our friendly support team will assist you with whatever you need.

If you're interested in finding out the biggest oil spills that have occurred in the UK, have a read of our blog on the subject to explore this subject further.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

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