Steps for Effective Spill Response and Cleanup
Whether you are working in warehousing, food processing, or industrial manufacturing, a large spill can be extremely hazardous. This is especially true for spills that involve oil, fuel, or chemicals, as these substances require specialized equipment to ensure that they are properly cleaned and disposed of. As leading providers of safety supply products like spill kits, safety signs, PPE, and more, EFAS Safety knows how detrimental and hazardous a spill can be for any operation. That is why we have compiled a list of steps for effective spill response and cleanup to help you handle a spill and keep your operation safe.
Learn about some common warehouse safety hazards and how to prevent them.
4 Steps for Safe and Effective Spill Response
To ensure that a spill is safely contained, cleaned, and handled, the following steps must be performed:
1. Identify the Spilled Substance & Assess the Risk
If you notice a spill, try to identify the substance without getting too close to it or touching it. Use nearby containers and other surrounding objects to provide context as needed. This will help you determine the level of risk and the appropriate response. If you are unsure of what the substance could be, it is always best to assume that it is highly hazardous and exercise the highest level of caution.
2. Notify Other Personnel and Equip the Proper PPE
Once you have determined the spilled substance, you will need to notify all nearby workers and place some signs or cones around the area to let them know that it is temporarily inaccessible. Once this is complete, you or the individual cleaning the spill must equip proper PPE. This will typically include gloves, safety goggles, face masks, and proper boots.
3. Stop & Contain the Spill
The spill will need to be stopped at the source before it spreads further. This will typically require turning a shutoff valve, standing a tipped drum upright, or plugging a punctured container with a suitable plugging product. Once the source of the spill is stopped, the liquid on the ground must be contained with oil pads, sorbent socks, drain covers, and other items in your spill kit.
4. Clean the Spill & Dispose of Used Spill Kit Products
With the spill contained, you will need to place absorbents around the spill area to soak up the remaining fluid. Once the fluids have been fully absorbed, you will need to safely remove the saturated sorbent products and dispose of them in an appropriate container. Certain fluids—like oil—can be recycled even if they have been absorbed. After the sorbent products are disposed of, all affected surfaces will need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried.
To learn more about our selection of spill kits and other safety supply products, get in touch with the team at EFAS Safety. We can be reached by phone at 1-833-294-3327 or through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.