- Emergency guide. This is a list of essential phone numbers and “what to do” assignments in the event of one or another kind of spill, which all employees need to read and understand.
- Spill kit. This should contain (for example) absorbents, solvents, and corrosive spill pads for the kinds of “listed” and/or “characteristic” hazardous substances you produce, process, or store. It should also contain plastic bags and/or collection containers for holding the spill; labels for identifying it; and appropriate protective gear like gloves, coats, goggles, etc. for your spill team.
Small incidental spills
Incidental spills involving small quantities of lower-hazard chemicals are most common. By definition, these don’t pose a substantial hazard to employees or your spill team, and so no out of town talent is necessary to clean things up safely & legally. You can do it yourself.
In a typical scenario, your spill team will first evacuate people in the immediate area to avoid their breathing vapors or otherwise coming into contact with the spill; and then they’ll determine what exactly has been spilled.
Your spill team will confine the spill to the smallest possible area, of course wearing safety goggles, gloves, and the other protective gear contained in your spill kit.
Saturated absorbent should be placed in a plastic bag or other appropriate container, properly labeled as hazardous waste, and disposed of according to your existing hazardous-waste management protocol—assuming you have one…and you had better. Again, expert advice is crucial.
Lastly, the contaminated area should be thoroughly flushed with water, and your spill-kit materials replenished for the next small accidental spill—God forbid.