What to Do When There is a Chemical Spill
Each day of our lives we can possibly come in contact with hazardous materials. In our everyday tasks and chores, chemical or hazardous materials are used to help us and make our tasks easier. Care must be exercised when handling chemicals, otherwise they can harm us and those around us. If you know what measures to take in the accidental spill of chemicals, then you can save your own life and the life of others. You should never take hazardous materials lightly because even if there is just a tiny release in the air, it can become a major issue.
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. A release of hazardous material, no matter how small, is a potentially dangerous situation and must be dealt with the soonest possible time and with efficiency. You need not experience panic in cases like this, if you know the measure to take when it happens and you are able to act quickly to confine it.
If your company has a hazard communication program, it is best to participate in it. Information will be shared with you regarding the understanding of the hazards of chemicals we work with, chemical labeling and the material safety data sheet or MSDS. It is good to familiarize yourself with the ‘Spill Guidelines’ of your facility. It is good to have a copy of ‘Emergency Response Plan’ which you can ask from your supervisor.
The training on ‘First Response Awareness Level’ must be given to all workers who are likely to witness a spill, leak, or other accidental release measures of a hazardous material. 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.
When the first responder to a hazardous spill comes and looks at the issue, he then tries to determine what should be done next. 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. Workers should use the equipment designated for that particular hazard type that has been released.
Sandbags absorb hazardous substances and should never be used to stop spills.
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