What to Do When There is a Chemical Spill
Each day of our lives we can possibly come in contact with hazardous materials. A lot of tasks that we do from home cleaning to powering our cars use chemicals or hazardous materials. If care is not exercised in using these things, no matter how useful they are, they can be very dangerous too. Knowing how to handle the accidental release of chemicals can save lives. The tiniest chemical released in the air or spilled on the floor, can become a major issues, so do not take this issue lightly.
Because gas is unseen, its release in the air around us can become very dangerous. You can save your life and the life of those around you if you have the right equipment and if you know what you should do. There has to be an immediate action when hazardous gas, no matter how little, is released in the atmosphere. Knowing the measures in dealing with accidental chemical releases can keep you at ease and enable you to act decisively at once.
If there is an offering in your company of a hazard communication program, then you should join in to prepare yourself. You can get all the information that you need so that you can understand the hazards of the chemicals you work with, chemical labeling and the material safety data sheet (MSDS). It is good to familiarize yourself with the ‘Spill Guidelines’ of your facility. The ‘Emergency Response Plan’ is very useful and is good to have a copy for you.
All workers who are likely to witness a spill, leak or accidental release measure of a hazardous material should undergo the training on ‘First Response Awareness Level’. Reporting procedures to initiate emergency response must be part of the training of employees. There is a training for the first group of workers who actually respond to spills, called the ‘First Responder Operations Level’ training. This training for the first people on the scene is to enable them to secure and contain the issues.
The first responders are the ones who examine the situation and determine the next step to take. The decision could be to evacuate the place, set barriers around the spill so that spreading of the contamination will be prevented. Then they can put up signs or caution tapes so that workers will know that there was a spill, so they can stay away from danger.
The spill need to be contained next. There are materials specifically determined for use in chemical spills for the type of hazard that has been released.
You should never use sandbags to stop any spill because they are not made to absorb hazardous substances.