Seven Steps to Spill Response
Every facility should have an effective spill response program in place to ensure no damage is caused to the environment. Clean up or pay up. Stocking the appropriate spill response equipment and providing your staff with comprehensive training will ensure you are spill-ready.
Having the correct equipment, together with highly trained employees will result in total preparedness for a spill. Assess the risk, protect yourself, contain the spill, identify the source, evaluate your plan, decontaminate the area, and complete all necessary reports are all considered effective steps to take when responding to a spill.
It is important for companies to build their own tailored plan to spill response to ensure that the most effective clean-up is achieved, resulting in no effect on the environment.
When a spill Happens
Despite spill response being specific to each facility, Hyde Park has identified 7 Key Steps that will assist you in effective spill response.
The moment a spill occurs through the clean-up process, responders must determine the risk to human health, the environment, and property. This procedure may be instant if you are aware of the spill and its contents, however, it may involve some investigation into the product. The spilled material can be identified from the container label or the Safety Data Sheet.
Every responder must ensure they are wearing the necessary PPE. This is crucial to human health. If the danger is uncertain and the spilled material is unknown, the worst should be assumed and the highest level of PPE used.
Hyde Park Environmental does not supply PPE with their spill kits as the spills that companies are responding to vary widely. We advise that PPE should be chosen specifically by the company to ensure the correct equipment is sourced and available.
Containing a spill may be a simple task or a more complex procedure depending upon the severity of the spill. It is critical that the correct absorbents and size of the spill kit are chosen for the spill. Hyde Park Environmental provides a vast range of spill kits to accommodate both large and small spills.
When the correct absorbents or spill kit have been chosen, responders should limit the spill area by diverting, blocking, or confining the spill to prevent the spill from spreading further. Hyde Park’s super absorbent socks and conical drain plugs can assist you effectively. It is vital to ensure that the liquid spilled does not contaminate a water source, minimizing the spill area and protecting drains are crucial to avoiding fines and potential site closure.
Identifying the source may occur before you contain the spill depending on the extent or size of your spill. Stopping the source can be as simple as turning a container upright or plugging a leak in a damaged drum or container. Take time to ensure that the source is stopped in an effective manner to minimise the risk of the spill reoccurring or further damage being caused. Plug & Seal Putty is the perfect product for stopping leaks from punctured pipes, drums, or containers. Once the leak has been stopped, the contents should be transferred to a new container.
When the spill is contained and the source is identified and under control, reassess the incident and develop a plan of action for the clean-up process. Firstly, responders should ensure that there is sufficient spill response supplies available to deal with the spill. Sufficient HUG cushions, HUG Socks and HUG Mats should be used to deal with the spill rapidly and cleanly. When the absorbents become saturated, they should be considered as hazardous waste and disposed of correctly and with caution.
After a spill, the site, personnel, and equipment must be decontaminated. Remove or neutralise the hazardous materials that have accumulated during the spill. This could involve disposing of contaminated waste, such as soil that was exposed during the spill. Occasionally, PPE can be reused upon meticulous cleaning and inspection. An effective decontamination area should be created to ensure the health and safety of the responders.
As soon as possible after the spill, take time to ensure that reports required by local and national guidelines are completed. Failure to complete the necessary reports could result in severe penalties and eventually lead to facility closure. Reports can include medical reports, local district or council reports, Environmental Agency Reports, and company spill records.
Please note the steps we have outlined are provided as guidance when dealing with a spill. From these steps, you can build a customised spill response plan suited to your facility's requirements. Following these steps will create preparedness for spills in your facility.