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. Workers should not put themselves in danger trying to stop or slow down an unsafe spill. Training workers who are daily exposed to hazardous agent on the proper procedures to contain spills so that the next time a spill happens, they will be prepared to do the right thing.
Of course, the best way to do it is to have the right equipment for this problem. It is best to use spill pallets and spill containment berms to help initially contain the spill. Perhaps the best weapon for this is to make sure that there is proper management of production and storage areas which are the most common places where spills take place. Transportation corridors should also have proper management and maintenance. 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.
Chemicals stored in external storage tanks can leak when it is overfilled or deteriorated. If dikes are formed around the tanks, it can help solve the problem. These liquids are highly flammable, corrosive and harmful and it order to prevent them from spreading around, the dikes can collect them. Depending on the volume of the tank, the method is mandated by law and recommended by OSHA.
These dikes and barriers are very useful but consideration should also be made for vehicular traffic in the storage space itself. Make sure that OSHA does not prohibit installing dikes near chemical containers like they do for certain chemicals.
Aside from dikes and barriers, OSHA also recommends the use of diatomaceous earth to control spills. You can spread this chalk-like substance to stop potential hazards. The effect of this method is a successful stoppage of the spill to spread around. Using diatomaceous earth can be a competent option for contain a spill.
Spraying chemicals to the spill through pressurized applicators is also effective. The spreading substance can be stopped by these chemicals. Fumes can be reduced by this chemical as well as it can solidify the hazardous substance in question. These chemicals can harden the substance, or change them chemically to change its combustibility. This way it can be safely disposed of once the danger is over. To produce quick barriers, fast-acting agent can be used so that the edge of the spill can be changed to swiftly lose its fluidity.