Almost every industry and type of business uses chemicals of some kind. In most cases these chemicals are used to clean facilities, in others such as laboratories, the chemicals may be stronger such as acids and bases, but no matter the use cases, where chemicals are used, spills can occur.
Some of these chemicals are hazardous and have the potential to cause serious injury and environmental damage if handled incorrectly. This is why hazardous chemicals, when spilt, have to be managed quickly and efficiently.
This is where chemical spill kits come in, they contain everything you need to respond to a chemical spill in the workplace in a safe manner.
If you’re struggling to know where to purchase your spill kit, Spill Station is the choice of most Australian businesses. Click here to know more about the company here.
The Placement and Management of Spills
Many accidental spills that do not pose an immediate threat to worker health or the environment can become a serious hazard if left unchecked. Keeping a Hazchem spill kit in the right area allows workers to quickly control the spill. Spill kits should be distributed throughout the workplace, so they are always within reach of personnel responding to a spill.
Each workplace has the duty to develop its own company operating methods and work instructions that describe what to do in case of a spill. The Spill kit must also be well-signed and placed where it can be accessed easily.
Training Staff to use Hazchem Spill Kits
It is vital to train employees to be ready when a spill occurs. Every new employee also has to be aware of what chemicals are used in the space they work in, and how to handle a spill. It’s also important to continue doing refresher training each year to keep the information current and ensure employees are confident in spill response.
In a Spill Station Spill Kit, you will receive instructions on how to correctly use the spill kit, which is always made with the appropriate signage already on the spill kit to ensure it can be seen easily.
The Contents of a Spill Kit
If you’re using a spill kit, you should know what it contains. This way, if anything is defective during maintenance checks, you can replace it quickly, and know why it is important.
This is something used to block off the area affected by spillage, this usually takes the form of barrier tape, spill warning signs and witch’s hats.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Certain chemicals are corrosive and can cause harm if they come in contact with the skin, or eyes or are inhaled. To protect against these irritants, protective gear is required. The exact type of PPE will depend on the chemicals your business works with.
Sand and Absorbent Pads:
Not all chemicals can be washed down the drain, so to dispose of these chemicals safely, steps need to be taken to make sure the chemicals don’t go into waterways or where local wildlife may come in contact with them. In most cases, chemicals need to be cleaned up by absorbing them and then disposing of them in a Hazchem bin. Sometimes this absorbent is sand and sometimes it’s an absorbent pad.
How to Manage a Spill
Before opening the spill kit, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- How dangerous is the chemical spill?
- Where is the spill located?
- What risk does it pose to the public and environment?
- What specific chemical has been spilt?
From here, you can consult the safety data sheet to understand how to deal with the spill. This changes from chemical to chemical, but in general, it’s important to remember to put your PPE on and make sure you follow the instructions carefully. From here, it’s important to report the spillage to management, and emergency services if required. The last and most important step is to contact Spill Station to restock your spill kit. Just in case another spill happens.