Barriers – Getting Started & Next Steps

Steps to Contain Spills in the Workplace

Incidents of hazardous chemical spills in the workplace is something that scares the workers themselves. People, in reaction to the spill, tend to want to try to do something to contain the spill. Unfortunately, this is not the right way to deal with the problem. 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 are workers who are daily exposed to hazardous agents, and these workers should be given spill containment trainings to let the workers know the proper procedures in containing spills.

This problem is better solved with the right equipment that can contain chemical spills. It is best to use spill pallets and spill containment berms to help initially contain the spill. Proper management of the areas where spills take place is perhaps the best preventive for spills. Transportation corridors should also have proper management and maintenance. Channeling a spill safely into a secure temporary or disaster holding spaces away from sparks, open flames, electrical circuits, and people is one great solution and all workers need to do is to evacuate.

Chemicals stored in external storage tanks can leak when it is overfilled or deteriorated. If dikes are formed around the tanks, it can help solve the problem. To prevent the distribution of the spilled or leaked liquids, the dikes have to surround the tanks to collect the spills. OSHA recommends diking and is some cases even mandated by the law.

These dikes and barriers are very useful but consideration should also be made for vehicular traffic in the storage space itself. The OSHA should not stop them from installing dikes near chemical containers.

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. The effect of this method is a successful stoppage of the spill to spread around. If worker can use diatomaceous earth as an element of a disaster response plan that does not put them in any harm, then it can be a competent option for containing a spill.

There are also chemicals that can be sprayed to the spill through pressurized applicators. The spill spreading process can be stopped by the sprayed chemicals. It also reduces the effects of any fumes or it can also solidify the hazardous substance in question. The spills can harden or can change their chemical composition to change its combustibility. It is easier to dispose of the spill if it hardens and once disposed of then the danger is over. What affects the primary edge of a spill to swiftly lost its fluidity as fast acting agents that produce quick barriers.

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