By the time this session is over, you will be able to understand the importance of spill cleanup; know how to prepare for spills in case they occur; know the procedures of containing and cleaning spills; and understand the importance of monitoring the air before the cleanup process.
Why “Hazardous Materials Spill Cleanup” Matters:
When handling hazardous materials spills, emergency responders often create tremendous environmental cleanup problems. Poorly executed spill procedures can expose workers and responders to hazardous substances, risking their lives and health; risk the health of the surrounding community when uncontrolled contaminants are allowed to escape the site of the spill; cause irreparable harm to the environment; and result in escalating costs from damage control, health costs, property costs, and the cost of additional resources.
- Plans and preparations should be cultivated before a spill occurs.
- Time is of the essence when responding to spills. By reacting quickly, spills can be kept under control and the damage can be minimized.
- When reacting to a spill, remember your main steps—identify, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), contain, and confine.
- Know how to identify the spill hazard by becoming familiar with the safety data sheets and labels for each chemical you work with.
- Always be wary of your surroundings and how toxic material releases will affect the environment and the surrounding community.
- When on-site, the air should be continually monitored for higher-than-permissible levels of exposure.
- If you are ever unsure of how to react, refer to your worksite’s emergency response plan, or contact your supervisor or an on-site safety expert.