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Spill Containment in the Workplace

Incidents of hazardous chemical spills in the workplace is something that scares the workers themselves. The first reaction of people within the spill site is to do something about the situation. This is far from being the right solution. Putting yourself in harm’s way is not right and this is what will happen if you try to slow down or stop an unsafe spill yourself. There should be spill containment training sessions which will outline to the workers the proper procedures in containing spills and this training should be addressed to those people who are exposed daily to hazardous agents.

Of course, the best way to do it is to have the right equipment for this problem. Spill pallets and spill containment berms should be available as a primary safeguard against spills. The best weapon for such hazards is proper management of production and storage areas where spills are most likely to take place. Transportation corridors should also have proper management and maintenance. One great idea is finding a way to channel the spill to a place away from heating elements and circuits to keep them away, and all workers needs to do is to simply evacuate the area.

Chemical storage in the form of external storage tanks can overfill or deteriorate, which can be a cause of leaking. The solution for this problem is diking. To prevent the distribution of the spilled or leaked liquids, the dikes have to surround the tanks to collect the spills. Depending on the volume of the tank, the method is mandated by law and recommended by OSHA.

People should consider vehicular traffic in the storage space before diking. You have to be sure also that the OSHA does not prohibit the installation of dikes near the container, like they do for certain chemicals such as liquefied petroleum gas.

Aside from dikes and barriers, OSHA also recommends the use of diatomaceous earth to control spills. This is a chalk-like substance that you can spread to stop potential hazardous liquids. This is also a proven technique. Using diatomaceous earth can be a competent option for contain a spill.

There are also chemicals that can be sprayed to the spill through pressurized applicators. The spreading substance can be stopped by these chemicals. Fumes can be reduced by this chemical as well as it can solidify the hazardous substance in question. The spills can harden or can change their chemical composition to change its combustibility. A hardened chemical spill can easily be disposed of and after that there will be no more fear of danger when the spill is removed. To produce quick barriers, fast-acting agent can be used so that the edge of the spill can be changed to swiftly lose its fluidity.

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