Disaster Response: 7 Steps to Take After a Spill

Published On: August 13, 20210 Comments on Disaster Response: 7 Steps to Take After a SpillLast Updated: February 5, 20243.2 min read

When there is a chemical spill at your business, it is time to act quickly. Will you clean the dangerous mess up yourself? Or, will you hire professionals to make sure the chemical spill is stopped, contained, and cleaned up safely and quickly? The correct answer depends on what has been spilled and how dangerous it is.

7 Steps to Take After a Spill

The answer also depends on the training and equipment your company has to take care of chemical spills.

When is it Time to Call in Professionals For Spills?

Every chemical spill is different. Some spills are harmless as far as chemistry and odors but make a mess. Water is one of these spills. Hiring a power washing company might be a good answer here. They will stop the spill, clean up the mess, and then clean the floors and affected areas by power washing. The right company will test the chemicals that have been spilled and use the correct technique to handle them safely. Identifying any chemical spill is the first step in deciding how to get it cleaned up. Then there are other steps to take. Once you know what chemical has been spilled, you will know how much of a risk it involves. Each company should have people designated as spill responders and trained in the proper steps to take. The company should have proper safety equipment and gear.

Seven Steps After A Spill Disaster

It is important to follow emergency procedures to keep everyone safe and minimize the danger from a chemical spill. When the spill first happens, it may constitute a dangerous emergency with injuries or possible injuries. It is important to alert everyone in the spill area to evacuate. Then any fire, fume, or injury incidents must be handled by calling the correct emergency response people. Any person who has been contaminated must be helped. Their clothing must be removed and disposed of properly, and their skin must be flushed with water for at least 10 minutes.

7 Steps to Take After a Spill - cleaning

Next, follow these 7 steps to respond to the spill:

  1. Identify what the spill is and what its risk may be. Do not rush in without protective gear and taking appropriate precautions. It is important to assess a risk such as a noxious gas or corrosive liquid.
  2. Be sure to protect yourself from injury. Spill responders must don protective gear, including a respirator and personal protective equipment, before rushing to the site.
  3. Stop the progress of the spill by finding the source and stopping the leak. Knowledge of patch and repair techniques is helpful. Sometimes, there are shut-off valves or faucets to locate. A broken pipe or hose may need to be wrapped in tape or other material to seal it.
  4. Try to contain the spill or hire someone to contain it. The faster the spill is contained the smaller the area to clean up will be. Creating dikes or dams to confine the spill is one way to stop the flow using common materials.
  5. Make an effort to minimize the risk factor. Chemicals such as bases or acids may need to be neutralized. Oils may need to be emulsified with degreasers.
  6. The spill must be cleaned up or hire professionals to clean it up. Each chemical spill is unique, and each chemical may require different methods to clean it up. Professional cleaning companies have these chemicals. A company with its own chemical spill response team may have different clean-up chemicals stored and ready to use.
  7. Is decontamination needed? The spill itself needs to be cleaned and then the protective equipment and cleanup materials need to be properly disposed of. The response crew needs to be cleaned and decontaminated themselves.

After there is a spill, there is a need to file reports and notifications for local, state, or federal entities.

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