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5 steps in responding to spills

We all know the saying “spills happen”… But does everyone in your business know how to respond to spills? Safely? Effectively? Knowing how to do so is vital to protect your staff from harmful releases of chemicals. It’s also crucial for the environment.

Naturally the spill-response needs will differ between different business types. But whatever your facility type, these five basic steps will help everyone in your team clean up spills. Safely. Effectively.

1. Prepare!

This sounds basic — because it is. Check out what spill response materials you have, and if any need to be handled in a specific manner. Make sure you have the proper spill response gear for your business, and then make sure you train your employees in how to use it.

2. Size it up

Running straight into a pouring spill can look really effective in movies, and that’s exactly where it should stay. In real life, you should always, always approach any spill response by first sizing it up. Is it safe to go near? If yes, then can you identify the spill source? What machinery or equipment is in the area? Can you hear anything unusual? Or see anything unusual — apart from a spill? Now you’ve ascertained what the go is with the spill, plan your next moves: will you sound an alarm? Or mobilise a response team? Or is this something for which you’re trained to handle?

3. Suit up

Depending upon what the spill is, what PPE do the spill responders need to wear?

4a. Clean up

So now it’s clean-up time. Firstly, create a barrier around the spill; locate the exact source and stop it.

4b. Decontaminate

Once the spill is cleaned up, gather all the materials you used to clean up so you can dispose of them properly. Then decontaminate the area, as well as any tools you used and yourself as the responder.

5. File it

If you need to write a report for your company, do it; don’t wait until you’ve had a well-deserved cuppa. And if you need to report anything to an appropriate agency (environmental or local), then send ditto, do it and send it at the same time.

Need a spill kit? Some absorbents? Items for spill control? Or spill containment? Or what about patch and repair maintenance? And of course, we can help you with storage and materials handling!

Don’t forget to restock. Ask us about our spill kit maintenance programs. Call 1800 HOT HOG (468 464), or email us for help.