Flammable, corrosive, and toxic chemical spills may injure workers, damage equipment, and contaminate the environment. Diligent management practices encompass storage and labeling, employee training, and secondary containment systems. Learn more about these three tips for minimizing chemical spills at work.
Proper Storage and Labeling
One of the best practices for storing hazardous chemicals is to use compatible containers. Check the chemical manufacturer’s guidelines for appropriate storage conditions, such as temperature requirements.
Every chemical container should have a clear and legible label that includes the chemical’s name, hazard warnings, and safety instructions. Proper labeling helps employees identify the contents and potential risks associated with each chemical, reducing the likelihood of mishandling chemicals or mixing incompatible materials.
Employee training is essential for minimizing chemical spills at work. Comprehensive training programs should educate workers on safe handling, storage, and disposal practices.
Employers must train employees on the hazards of chemicals in their work areas. Staff require training before their initial assignments and when employers introduce a new hazardous chemical.
Information To Include in Employee Training
Workers must understand when they are exposed to the chemicals and know that labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) provide information they can consult. They must also understand protective measures they can take, how to use them, and whom to speak with if a problem occurs.
Secondary Containment Systems
While workers should use techniques and materials that minimize the likelihood of leaks, secondary containment systems can limit the spread of spills after primary containers fail. These systems include spill trays, containment pallets, berms, and other devices.
Secondary containment systems hold spills and make it easier for employees to clean up the chemicals. In the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces secondary containment requirements. These requirements may vary based on the type and quantity of stored hazardous chemicals.
Proper storage and labeling, up-to-date employee training, and secondary containment systems reduce the risk of chemical spills. Industries that use or generate hazardous chemicals can follow these tips to safeguard people, the environment, and businesses.