Basic Procedures for Chemical Spill Cleanup

Spills occur on small and large levels. While oil spills tend to require a large-scale hoarder cleanup san francisco, chemical contamination in a laboratory or similar facility is one of the more regular instances in which spill cleanup procedures are needed. For this type of spill cleanup, action must be taken quickly, as the substance can quickly cause injuries, a fire, an environmental hazard, or illness. Not all spill cleanup procedures are the same, however, and before starting decontamination or using absorbents, refer to the MSDS.

Those conducting a spill cleanup must wear personal protection in order to avoid contamination and need to be trained in all handling procedures beforehand. OSHA and EPA regulations CFR 1910.40, CFR 112, 261, and, 264 outline procedures for cleanup.

Absorbents are part of most cleanup procedures, and generally, universal absorbents are acceptable. Some spills, however, may need oil-only or hazmat absorbents. Before you apply any absorbents, test the chemical and consult the MSDS. If the spilled liquid is flammable, control sources of fire and ventilate the area at the start of cleanup.

When cleanup procedures start, those in the area must leave as soon as possible. If any individuals were contaminated by the spilled chemical, they must be decontaminated, and all exposed must flush their skin with water for several minutes.

The spill must not reach the environment, and as cleanup procedures are beginning, protect drains with socks and other flexible absorbents for secondary containment. In order to address the spill itself, a loose absorbent needs to be applied from the outside of the liquid inward. If the liquid is an acid, neutralize it first. The liquid will change color once the neutralization is complete, and the absorbent will give it a gel-like quality. At this point, the solidified spill can be scooped up and placed in a container.

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