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When Does a Spill Require Emergency Cleanup Services?

Emergency Cleanup Services

Emergency cleanup services should be employed for certain spills.

Accidents are a part of life, and it’s no different at facilities that use hazardous materials and chemicals. Since spills will happen, your organization will need to have plans put in place to guide your employees on how to handle them. One of the most common questions in this field is: who is responsible for cleaning up a spill? Following that question, the next one usually is: when does a spill require the help of emergency cleanup services? Today we’re going to address these two questions.

When a Spill Can Be Handled Internally

If an employee spills a very small quantity of a relatively benign material, it is probably safe to assume that they can clean it up themselves (assuming the employee is up to date on all required hazardous materials handling training). You should have a different procedure in place, however, if the material is highly toxic or is at risk of impacting a floor drain leading to a municipal sewer. Many organizations have implemented a “cut off” volume as a useful tool for determining when a spill can be handled internally. For example, if an employee spills a liter of buffer and your cutoff volume is 2 liters, they should be able to handle it.

When Emergency Cleanup Services Are Needed

OSHA specifies that a spill turns into an emergency situation once it is likely to result in an uncontrolled release of hazardous substances or poses a significant health or safety risk to the responder. So if an employee spills a small quantity of a particularly dangerous or toxic substance, emergency cleanup services will be needed. Likewise, any spill of highly flammable materials will require the evacuation of your facility and the calling in of a specialized team in order to keep your employees safe. Note that above we mentioned the concept of a cutoff volume. It is perfectly acceptable for your organization to take no risks regarding spill cleanup and set your cutoff volume at 0, making any spill an emergency situation that requires a specialized hazmat team – in fact, this is a common setup for many organizations. The most important consideration is the safety and well-being of your employees.


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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for updates.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 5th, 2017 at 11:17 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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