June 17th, 2021 by admin
Chemical spills are part of industrial operations. However, industrial facilities with good quality control measures and operational standards have a well-thought-out response plan in place to deal with spills. They know that swiftly and professionally responding to spills is important for protecting their workforce and equipment, complying with relevant regulatory directors, and protecting the environment.
If you have just set up a manufacturing facility and want to devise a spill response, read on. In this post, we will quickly walk you through the steps and elements of an industrial spill clean-up activity and response plan.
Identifying the Spilled Substance and Risk Assessment
Once a spill has been identified, the facility in charge must take into account various factors for the risk assessment
- The volume of hazardous substances in the spill
- How bad the spill is (e.g. by factoring in the flow rate)
- If the spill has become life-threatening
If a spill is life-threatening, those in-charge should call 911 and other relevant local authorities. However, if the spill is not life-threatening and can be managed, the facility can proceed to the clean-up activity.
Stop and Contain the Spill
The spill clean-up teams must don proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), respirators, gloves, boots, and goggles. This thoroughly covered team should then reach the spill site (source) to stop it. Depending on the industrial setting, they may have to use purpose-built stoppers and industrial leak sealants or have to turn a valve.
After stopping the spill, it is imperative to contain its spread. For this, the clean-up team may need a range of different tools and equipment. Some of them are as follows.
- Sorbent socks
- Containment berms
- Spill sumps
- Spill collectors
Also, the hazardous substances of the spill have to be offset immediately. For instance, acids and bases should be neutralized, and their byproducts should be emulsified before the final clean-up.
Clean Up the Spill
After containing and neutralizing the spill, the clean-up team has to remove the spill altogether from the site. Depending on the type of chemicals and their form, the team has to use different rolls, socks, booms, and rolls for cleaning up the affected area. Usually, any good industrial spill kit has all the necessary cleaning items.
Decontamination of the Team and Area
Decontamination of the cleaning team and the spill-affected area is an important concluding phase of an industrial spill clean-up activity. The decontamination phase will have these or similar steps.
- Remove and dispose of the used PPEs
- Clean up the equipment used for stopping, containing, and cleaning the spill
- Disinfect the affected area with degreasers, hypochlorite (bleach), ethanol, chlorine dioxide, and other decontaminating agents, depending on the nature of the surface and spilled fluid.
A robust and timely clean-up activity will make sure that you can take care of the spill without undergoing extended downtime or violating compliance measures. If you need expert help in devising customized industrial spill clean-up protocols for your facility, get in touch with Spectrum Environmental Services. We have been helping industrial facilities in resolving their environmental challenges for over 28 years.
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