Regardless of your line of work, it’s likely that your business has a number of potentially dangerous chemicals stored on the premises. Not all chemicals are inherently harmful, but most can be when used incorrectly or in massive quantities. If there is a chemical spill, for instance, even cleaning chemicals for a standard office can quickly become dangerous. Knowing how to manage a chemical spill, of any type safely, is critical for all staff. Make sure you have adequate training and a comprehensive plan to help ensure that all team members know how to prevent spills as well as how to react to them.
Make The Hazard Known
When a spill occurs, you must be able to make a few decisions very quickly. To start, identify the material, the scope of the spill, and if possible take note of ventilation, temperature, and surface. If necessary, call 911, in any case, those working in the vicinity must be notified. In some cases the scene must be evacuated, in others, you may just need to mark the area before beginning cleanup.
Get It Under Control
Once your spill has been alerted to the proper parties the next step is to ensure it does not spread. This can mean righting spilled bottles or containers, shutting off leaking valves and more. Protective equipment should always be used when working with spilled chemicals of any kind. Additionally, you may need to take this time to open windows for ventilation, turn on vents, remove heat sources, or close doors and isolate the area if the fumes are dangerous.
Contain The Spill
With the situation under control, the next step is to ensure it is contained. Preventing further spreading and contamination is critical. Often the use of absorbent or neutralizing material should be used. In some cases this might include using a powder based material for chemical neutralization, in other you might just use rags or towels to absorb the spill. Regardless of what you use, start from the perimeter and work your way in.
Once you’ve cleaned up the spill, it must be disposed of correctly. Depending on the type of chemical and the severity you may be able to dispose of the material with little more than a plastic bag. For others, you might need to check local regulations and hazardous waste rules. Any clothing must be appropriately cleaned or discarded, and the area must be thoroughly cleaned to prevent further contamination.
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No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.
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