Short Course on Options – Covering The Basics

Steps to Contain Spills in the Workplace

It can be scary to be in a place where an incident of hazardous chemical spill has taken place. The first reaction of people within the spill site is to do something about the situation. This is far from being the right solution. Workers should not put themselves in danger trying to stop or slow down an unsafe spill. There are workers who are daily exposed to hazardous agents, and these workers should be given spill containment trainings to let the workers know the proper procedures in containing spills.

This problem is better solved with the right equipment that can contain chemical spills. Spill pallets and spill containment berms should be available as a primary safeguard against spills. Perhaps the best weapon for this is to make sure that there is proper management of production and storage areas which are the most common places where spills take place. Transportation corridors should also have proper management and maintenance. If there is a way to channel the spill safely into a secure temporary or disaster holding spaces that area away from sparks, open flames, electrical circuits or employees, then the simplest thing that the workers can do is to deactivate whatever device they are using and then leave the area when there is a spill.

Chemical storage in the form of external storage tanks can overfill or deteriorate, which can be a cause of leaking. Diking can be a solution to this problem. To prevent the distribution of the spilled or leaked liquids, the dikes have to surround the tanks to collect the spills. This method is recommended by the OSHA or occupational safety and health administration and in some conditions mandated by law depending on the volume of tank being used.

These dikes and barriers are very useful but consideration should also be made for vehicular traffic in the storage space itself. You have to be sure also that the OSHA does not prohibit the installation of dikes near the container, like they do for certain chemicals such as liquefied petroleum gas.

Aside from dikes and barriers, OSHA also recommends the use of diatomaceous earth to control spills. You can spread this chalk-like substance to stop potential hazards. The effect of this method is a successful stoppage of the spill to spread around. If worker can use diatomaceous earth as an element of a disaster response plan that does not put them in any harm, then it can be a competent option for containing a spill.

There are also chemicals that can be sprayed to the spill through pressurized applicators. These chemicals can stop the progress of the spreading substance. It also reduces the effects of any fumes or it can also solidify the hazardous substance in question. The spills can harden or can change their chemical composition to change its combustibility. It is easier to dispose of the spill if it hardens and once disposed of then the danger is over. Fast-acting agents can also used to produce quick barriers because they can affect the primary edges of a spill to swiftly lost its fluidity.

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