First Response to Chemical Spills
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. Dealing with hazardous materials is not a thing to be taken for granted because the tiniest release can become a real big problem.
If gas is released it is most dangerous because we cannot see it. 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. Knowing the measures in dealing with accidental chemical releases can keep you at ease and enable you to act decisively at once.
If there is an offering in your company of a hazard communication program, then you should join in to prepare yourself. 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. The ‘Emergency Response Plan’ is very useful and is good to have a copy for you.
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. The employees must be trained on reporting procedures to use to initiate emergency response. The ‘First Responder Operations Level’ training is a training for the first group of workers who actually respond to spills. This training for the first people on the scene is to enable them to secure and contain the issues.
The first responder goes to the scene and reviews it to determine the next step to do. Evacuation and placing barriers around the spill can be done to prevent the spreading of the chemicals. Signs and caution tapes can be put up to warn others about the spill and prevent them from going in harm’s way.
The spill need to be contained next. The materials that have been specifically determined to use for the type of hazard that has been released should be used.
You should never use sandbags to stop any spill because they are not made to absorb hazardous substances.
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