What to Do During a Chemical Spill in Your Facility

Stained boots over a chemical spill

If your facility deals with chemicals, then you should be ready for any possible problem that may arise from their transport and handling. You will need to acquaint yourself with the safety precautions and have an emergency safety plan in place for any possible occurrence, especially during a chemical spill.

Aside from an emergency plan, you also need to use equipment such as an absorbent to take care of the spill. We’re going to take a look at what your facility needs to prepare for such an incident.

Emergency Preparedness

Preparation is always key when it comes to handling emergencies such as chemical spills. You will need to know what the chemicals are, write down the procedures to handle the situation, and make sure that you have the necessary materials and training to handle the spill.

First, you must have knowledge of the different chemicals your facility has as well as their properties and proper handling. You should know about the potential dangers of exposure to these chemicals – find out what each chemical does and how harmful it can be to health and materials.

Some of the chemical properties to check are flammability, toxicity, acidic property or ability to corrode materials, as well as if the fumes emitted by the chemical can be lethal when inhaled. With proper knowledge, your facility will be able to develop proper guidelines on handling the chemicals and what to do should a spill occur.

Procedural Requirements

Second, you will need to write down a chemical spill procedure. You should detail this to indicate what to do first when a chemical spill happens, what equipment or materials to use, how to clean up after the spill and how to dispose of the chemicals.

You should then disseminate this information to everyone in the facility, especially those who handle the hazardous chemicals directly. The procedures should include what equipment to use, evacuation plans and safe zones, disposal containers, and instructions for first aid.

Emergency Equipment

Lastly, make sure that the equipment and materials needed for emergency management are complete and people can easily access them from accident-prone areas. Place warning signs and make sure you clearly label emergency materials as well.

Ensure that everyone in the facility undergoes the necessary training so he or she can act quickly according to the procedures.

 

When a Spill Occurs

Even with all precautionary measures in place, accidents do happen. If you do experience an actual spill in your facility, make sure people follow the procedures you’ve set to the letter. This is why written procedures on how to handle the situation are very important. Refer to this document as much as possible.

In most cases, trained workers can handle simple spills. A bigger spill, however, may necessitate the assistance of a company that specialises in dealing with hazardous chemicals. Again, make sure to check what your response procedures say.

Most procedures indicate containing the spill, neutralising the acids or bases, controlling the spread of the liquid, pr using absorbents and disposal equipment. A detailed set of guidelines can make this task easier.

 

One thing we should always remember is that with any chemical spill, you need to be prepared and follow the emergency and response procedures as outlined. This will protect not only the workers but also the material assets in your facility.