Cleaning a water-mix fluid sump


  • Never put clean fluid in a dirty sump
  • Don't use plain water for washing out. You may de-passivate metal surfaces and increase the corrosion risks
  • Prepare a permit to work for any cleaning in potentially confined spaces
  • Provide equipment to remove and replace sump fluids with minimum spillage
  • Keep absorbent material to hand in case of spillages
  • Follow your supplier's guidelines as well as this sheet
  • Avoid getting fluid or cleaning agents on skin
  • Provide good facilities for washing and eating/drinking refreshments away from the work activity
  • Treat all wastes as 'hazardous waste' for recycling or disposal


  • Check your supplier's recommendation for dosage levels and circulation times.
  • Follow the steps in the flowchart.
Cleaning a heavily contaminated water-mix fluid sump flowchart

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is required if you are creating a mist, eg when using a high pressure water hose. Provide RPE with a UK Standard Assigned Protection Factor of at least 20, eg FFP3 or powered TH2.
  • Provide suitable gloves. Use thicker gloves which provide protection from chemical and mechanical hazards, but only when machinery is switched off.
  • Ensure workers discard gloves that are damaged, and at the end of a cleaning session.
  • Provide eye protection to EN 166 standard where there is a risk of splashing.  
  • Workers also need overalls.
  • Ensure contaminated overalls are laundered before re-use.
  • Provide storage for PPE to prevent damage or contamination when not in use.
  • "Barrier creams" do not create a barrier but skin creams can help in washing contamination from the skin. Use a moisturising cream each time you wash your hands and use after-work creams to help replace skin oils.

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Updated 2021-03-31