Chemicals have all kinds of uses, but they can be incredibly dangerous if not handled properly. Sometimes, certain chemicals can even be lethal under certain circumstances. It’s important to know this now, considering how often chemicals get used in various industries. Given that there are many risks that come with mishandling chemicals, knowing how to deal with accidents when they arise is of paramount significance. Here is what you should do to combat a chemical spill around your facility.
Prevention is your Best Bet Whenever Possible
The best option you have for combatting a chemical spill is prevention. Dealing with spills is much easier when they never occur at all. To decrease the likelihood of a chemical spill taking place, you should follow all of the right procedures for handling chemicals, using those chemicals, storing them, transferring them, and the disposal process.
Every worker who handles chemicals should have training so that they are aware of all of the risks each substance poses. Having an SDS, also known as a safety data sheet, for all of the chemicals they use is required.
Let People Know About the Hazard
Let everyone in the vicinity know whenever a chemical spill is present. If it’s necessary, vacate the area and contact 911. Your dispatcher needs to know what kind of substance was spilled and how much of that material spilled too. This way, first responders will know how to handle the situation.
If anyone got hurt or contaminated, get them somewhere safe until medical staff can arrive on the scene to assist them.
Control the Spill
Other than evacuation, people who respond to chemical spills must be certified. Ensure whoever takes even defensive action is certified. Make sure the spill doesn’t get worse than it already is. This will require your staff using PPE (personal protective equipment) for safety purposes. Turn off anything that could produce heat or otherwise ignite flammable chemicals.
For fumes, you need to know if those fumes are safe to be dispersed or not. If the fumes are safe, raise ventilation so that they can be sent to the air. If the fumes are dangerous, close off doors and windows once people have managed to evacuate the area.
Keep the Hazard Contained
As soon as you have addressed the immediate problem, you need to do whatever you can to stop the chemical spill from spreading anywhere else around the facility. Absorbent items can be of great use for keeping spills from getting to other spots around your building. If you place these items in the spots surrounding the initial spill, it’s much easier to contain all of the hazardous substances.
Keep any spilled materials but especially hazardous materials away from drains because you don’t want them escaping into spots that are more environmentally sensitive. Do what you can to contain the spilled material on your property. Lastly, use caution tape to surround the area so that others know to avoid that space.
Clean the Spill and The Damage That Took Place
Take whatever material was used to deal with the chemical spill and properly dispose of that material. Sometimes, you’ll also need to dispose of equipment that helped you manage the chemical spill. If the material you contained is hazardous, you should properly label whatever container you use to hold said hazardous material.
As for cleaning, get all affected surfaces cleaned using appropriate cleaning materials. This could be any combination of bleach, water, detergents or other decontaminating agents depending upon the chemical that was spilled.
Lastly, you need to decontaminate yourself and your equipment used in the spill. This can be accomplished by doffing your PPE and gear after decontamination is complete. Of course, afterward washing with soap water is recommended.
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We are a trusted team of emergency chemical spill cleanup service technicians in Baltimore, Maryland. We respond to all types of hazmat and biohaz spills. Don’t risk your safety and health! If there has been a chemical spill of any kind, call us today and get a proper chemical spill cleanup team to your property!