In a large industrial facility, spills of chemicals, materials, and fluids can be a common occurrence. Therefore, most employees you bring into your facility are likely trained right from the start n how to handle small incidental spills. Most of those who are trained to handle small spills of hazardous materials will not think twice before they jump in and start cleaning up a material. However, in some situations, spills that happen in the facility should be handled professionally by a hazmat team. But how do you know the difference? Take a look at three questions you should ask to determine if your employees and you can safely handle a spill or if the spill should call for a more specialized approach:
How large is the spill and how easy is it to contain?
Sometimes, it will be merely the size of a spill that should determine if you can handle it or not safely. If a spill is just a puddle, it will usually be no problem for employees to grab paper towels or the necessary solvents to tackle the situation. However, if a spill is massive and spreads far into the facility or even outside of the facility, it would be difficult to handle and contain before it caused further issues.
What material has been spilled in the facility?
Some materials are far more hazardous to handle than others. For example, some chemicals have the ability to eat into concrete flooring, damage machinery, and harm those handling it even with the appropriate safety gear. In these situations, it is always best to bring in a third-party hazmat team to properly clean up the spill, even if it is not all that large.
Does the material spilled pose an environmental risk?
Indoor spills can usually be contained unless they are large. Therefore, environmental risks are not an issue. However, if a massive spill takes place outdoors or if a spill is large enough indoors that it will leak to the outdoors, it should be a signal for you to contact a hazmat team for assistance. Some hazardous materials can pose a threat to the environment even in small amounts. For example, some hydraulic fluids can disrupt the natural ecosystem of the soil and affect groundwater supplies and insects and plants. If there is any chance of an environmental threat as a result of a spill, it should be handled by a hazmat spill cleanup team.
Contact a company like Spur Environmental Services for more information and assistance.