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10 Quick Chemical Spill Tips

January 22, 2014

As the residents of West Virginia could probably tell you, chemical spills can have disastrous and dangerous consequences. It’s important to take every imaginable step to prevent these kinds of accidents, but it’s equally important to have a strong and actionable emergency spill response plan – especially if you deal with hazardous materials.

Preparedness is essential. Familiarize yourself and your employees with these simple steps:

  • Make sure everyone is alerted to the spill;
  • Determine the chemical nature of the spill, and check the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Remember that sometimes determining whether or not a waste is a “hazardous waste” is difficult, and that the best policy is to assume all chemicals should be handled as hazardous waste;
  • Make sure any electrical and spark producing equipment is turned off;
  • If there’a fire, use the fire extinguisher right away;
  • If appropriate, outfit yourself and employees in protective equipment or hazmat gear, including respirator, safety goggles and gloves;
  • If appropriate, evacuate yourself and your employees.  If the chemical spilled is toxic, volatile, or flammable, evacuation should be carried out immediately;
  • If the chemical spilled is hazardous or highly toxic, alert all appropriate authorities and call 911;
  • In the case of a small spill, create a barrier around the spill with absorbent materials such as paper towels, vermiculite, or sand;
  • Put up signs to prevent access to the contaminated area and warn of danger;
  • After cleanup, all materials (even paper towels) will need to be treated as hazardous waste. Double bag and label the materials, and make arrangements for hazardous waste removal.

If your business has a policy or plan in place for these kinds of events, make sure you know it well. Provide training and training materials for all employees so that everyone else does, too. If you don’t have a formal plan, it’s time to put one in place. A good plan can minimize an otherwise ugly incident, and prevent against tragic results.

Hazardous Waste Experts can assist you with hazardous waste disposal, as well as advise you on your specific situation.  For further assistance, contact Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311 to speak with an expert.

Disposal of hazardous waste doesn’t have to be painful.