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Spill Response

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Emergency spill response
is an important part of a company's safety and health program. In the event of a spill, well-prepared companies are ready with a plan of action and the appropriate cleanup supplies. A simplified action plan for spill response might look like this:

1. Evacuate personnel from the immediate area of the spill.

2. Identify the spilled material(s).

3. Notify the spill response team.

4. Barricade the spill area and notify others in surrounding areas.

5. Extinguish or disconnect all sources of ignition and contact the fire department if the chemical is flammable.

6. Don the appropriate personal protective equipment.

7. Contain the spill.

8. Clean up the spill.

9. Dispose of the spill in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.


The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HazWOPER) contains requirements for cleanup operations; corrective actions involving cleanup operations; voluntary cleanup operations; operations conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities; and emergency response operations for hazardous wastes. The HazWOPER Standard, 29 CFR 1910.120, requires the following with regard to spill control: (j)(1)(vii) US Department of Transportation specified salvage drums or containers and suitable quantities of proper absorbent shall be kept available and used in areas where spill, leaks, or ruptures may occur. (j)(1)(viii) Where major spills may occur, a spill containment program, which is part of the employer's safety and health program required in paragraph (b) of this section, shall be implemented to contain and isolate the entire volume of the hazardous substance being transferred. In developing a spill containment program, you should have certain tools in-house and ready to use in case an emergency spill situation occurs. Spill containment tools can include drain protectors, drain plugs, drum plugs, neutralizers and sorbents. This document will discuss various sorbents and their uses.






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