Workplace Spills: A Basic Look at the Procedure

Spills in the workplace can become a hazard for workers and stop production. Depending on the severity of the spill and the nature of the substance in question, there are different cleanup procedures and safety protocols. While every spill may be different, there are steps that can be taken in the workplace to ensure it is managed as safely as possible. Here is a brief overview of what procedures to implement in the case of a workplace spill. 

First and foremost, assessing the severity of the spill is key. Determining whether the spill is chemical or radioactive in nature, for instance, will help set the course of events to put into practice amongst workers. Communicating to workers that the area needs to be cleared as well as setting up proper communication to others that a spill is present will help prevent anyone else from coming into contact with the substance in question. Both workers and supervisors should be alerted through the proper means of communication to keep away until the spill has been dealt with. Donning appropriate gear immediately is highly recommended as substances that produce fumes, for instance, could prove harmful to uncovered eyes and skin. Ensuring that everyone is safe and kept at a distance is of extreme importance with any spill to further prevent an incident. 

For spills that do not require a hazmat team for cleanup, the spill should be isolated for easier cleanup. If the source of the spill has been located, attempts should be made to ensure the spill does not get larger. For example, if the spill in question originated from a broken pipe inside a warehouse, the water source should be turned off until a sealant is secured. On the other hand, if the spill was a result of a barrel falling on its side, the barrel should be raised to prevent a larger spillage area. Ensuring that the correct cleaning solutions are used will ensure an easier and safer cleanup. Especially for substances that are greasy in nature, the proper cleaning tools should be utilized to prevent a slick floor that could lead to potential falls. While cleaning, it is also helpful to place cones in the surrounding area so that it is completely blocked off from foot traffic. 

Again, with any spills that are hazardous in nature, a specialized hazmat team or procedure rundown is required as these spills are unsafe for most to handle on their own. Safety should always come first in the case of any spill and one cannot communicate enough to others to the potential danger of the spill itself. Ensuring that others are protected through excellent communication and protective gear will protect all workers. Assessing the nature and extent of the spill will also lend to a more effective cleanup procedure that is both safe and efficient for the workplace. Being properly prepared with this knowledge will help guarantee the safety and success of the workplace in the event of a spill.

If you have more questions, contact a spill response company.