The 4 Most Unanswered Questions about Barriers

Chemical Spills and How to Respond to It

There is hazardous materials we come in contact with everyday. A lot of tasks that we do from home cleaning to powering our cars use chemicals or hazardous materials. If care is not exercised in using these things, no matter how useful they are, they can be very dangerous too. If you know the measures to take when there are accidental releases of these harmful materials, it could spell the difference between life and death. Dealing with hazardous materials is not a thing to be taken for granted because the tiniest release can become a real big problem.

Because gas is unseen, its release in the air around us can become very dangerous. 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. Even if the hazardous material released is just small, it still poses a dangerous situation and it must be dealt with immediately. If you know accidental release measures, you need not panic because you can act decisively, immediately.

It is beneficial to participate in a hazard communication program that is offered by your company. 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. Your facility should also have a ‘Spill Guidelines’ which you should be familiar with. It is good to have a copy of ‘Emergency Response Plan’ which you can ask from your supervisor.

All workers who are likely to witness a spill, leak or accidental release measure of a hazardous material should undergo the training on ‘First Response Awareness Level’. It is important for employees to know reporting procedures to initiate emergency response. There is a training for the first group of workers who actually respond to spills, called the ‘First Responder Operations Level’ training. This training is for workers who are tasked to be the first on the scene so that they can secure and contain the issue.

An operations level first responder will go to the scene and review it so as to determine the next best step, when a hazardous spill occurs. The area may be evacuated, place barriers around the spill to prevent the contamination from spreading. To prevent other workers from the danger, signs and caution tapes can be set up so that it will be known to all that there was a chemical spill.

Workers need to contain the spill. The materials that have been specifically determined to use for the type of hazard that has been released should be used.

Never used sandbags for chemical spills because they absorb hazardous substances.