SPILL PREVENTION & RESPONSE

Cogbill Safety Tuesday October 6th, 2020

Hazardous spills can pollute the air, water, and soil, with the potential to cause harm to people, animals, and the environment. More than 30,000 hazmat incidents are reported every year in the United States. To keep the environment and people safe, companies that handle hazardous solvents, be they construction companies or chemical plants and similar, should develop and implement a proper spill-prevention and response plan, along with training and conducting drills

In the case a spill does occur, at minimum, the following should be followed:

1) Asses the risk: Address the level of danger that comes with the spilled solvent, formulate a plan, and act immediately.

2) Protect yourself: Put on proper PPE based on the type of chemical and the severity of the spill. If you are unsure of what PPE is needed for a specific chemical, assume the worst and put on the full gear.

3) Confinement: As quickly as possible, prevent the spill are from expanding by blocking, diverting, or confining the spill with proper equipment such as booms, dikes, drain covers, spill berms, etc.

4) Stopping the source: Stop the leak from its container, by proper means. Depending on the type of the container this could include rolling over a barrel, plugging a hole, turning off a valve, applying a patch or spill-control device, etc.

5) Clean Up: Depending on the chemical, it can be vacuumed or absorbed using material such as pillows and mat pads. Properly dispose of saturated absorbents.

6) Decontaminate: The site, people, and equipment must be properly decontaminated by removing or neutralizing what has come in contact with the hazardous solvents.

7) Report: Proper reporting after incidents can help prevent another spill from occurring in the future and also better prepares personnel in the case a spill happens to reoccurs.

Always be cautious when working in areas containing hazardous chemicals. If signs of a chemical leak are discovered, act immediately to prevent a worse situation from occurring.