Prevention is the first line of defense to industrial spills in the workplace, but being prepared to react and respond is critical. Here are 7 steps to help you build your Spill Response Action Plan.
1) IDENTIFY THE SUBSTANCE & DETERMINE THE RISK
The individual in charge should identify (to the extent possible) all hazardous substances, the conditions present, handling procedures, amount of liquid and potential dangers. The most important thing to consider here is if the spill is life threatening. If so, dial 911 and/or call your local authorities and Oil Spill Response Organization.
2) PROTECT YOURSELF
Once an individual has determined that the spill is not life threatening and is manageable, protect the clean up team by properly outfitting them in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes PPE suits (choose the correct level of suit that can be found on the liquids MSDS sheet), respirators (SCBA recommended), boots, gloves and goggles.
3) STOP THE SPILL
Stop the spill at its source. This can be done by turning a valve, rolling a drum over or using a leak stopper product.
4) CONTAIN THE SPILL
Limit the spread and exposure of the spill by properly containing the liquid. This can be done by utilizing the correct equipment like CEP spill kits and proper sorbents like sorbent socks. These products can all be used to dam, dike or divert the spill for easy, manageable clean up. If properly planned, many spills can be self contained by using the proper secondary containment.
5) MINIMIZE THE RISK
Acids and Bases will need to be neutralized and at times oil and their by products can be emulsified using degreasers and microblaze.
6) CLEAN UP THE SPILL
Dependent on the type of liquid you’re cleaning up, you can use Oil Only, Universal and HazMat pads, rolls, socks and booms. Often these clean up products can be stored and ready for use in an Overpack Spill Kits which can then be used for proper disposal.
Cleaning a spill means properly cleaning both the clean up employees and their equipment afterwards. Remove and dispose of used PPE in the same manner as your spilled liquid. Degreasers, industrial rug, and containment berms are essential for all decon areas.
A successful Spill Response Action Plan will prevent an accidental spill from becoming an even larger disaster.
View our other blog posts related to personal protective equipment. This article republished with permission from CEP.