Steps to Contain Spills in the Workplace
If there is an incident of hazardous agent spill in the workplace, it can be a scary scenario for everyone in the vicinity. People, in reaction to the spill, tend to want to try to do something to contain the spill. Unfortunately, this is not the right way to deal with the problem. Trying to stop or slow down an unsafe spill is not to be done by workers because they are putting themselves in harm’s way. There are workers who are daily exposed to hazardous agents, and these workers should be given spill containment trainings to let the workers know the proper procedures in containing spills.
Of course, the best way to do it is to have the right equipment for this problem. Spill pallets and spill containment berms should be available as a primary safeguard against spills. The best weapon for such hazards is proper management of production and storage areas where spills are most likely to take place. Attention should similarly given to transportation corridors. One great idea is finding a way to channel the spill to a place away from heating elements and circuits to keep them away, and all workers needs to do is to simply evacuate the area.
Chemical storage in the form of external storage tanks can overfill or deteriorate, which can be a cause of leaking. The solution for this problem is diking. The dikes have to surround the tanks so that it can collect spills and prevent the distribution of the spilled or leaked liquids which can be flammable, corrosive, or harmful. OSHA recommends diking and is some cases even mandated by the law.
Although these dikes are useful, before they are constructed consideration has to be made regarding vehicular traffic in the storage space. Make sure that OSHA does not prohibit installing dikes near chemical containers like they do for certain chemicals.
Diatomaceous earth is also highly recommended by the OSHA to control spills. Spreading this chalk-like substance over the chemical spills helps to stop the potential hazardous liquid. The effect of this method is a successful stoppage of the spill to spread around. If worker can use diatomaceous earth as an element of a disaster response plan that does not put them in any harm, then it can be a competent option for containing a spill.
Spraying chemicals to the spill through pressurized applicators is also effective. These chemicals can stop the progress of the spreading substance. This chemical will not only reduce the effects of the fumes, ti can also solidify hazardous substances in question. The spills can harden or can change their chemical composition to change its combustibility. This way it can be safely disposed of once the danger is over. Fast-acting agents can also used to produce quick barriers because they can affect the primary edges of a spill to swiftly lost its fluidity.