How to Handle a Hazmat Spill
Children may throw food on the floor or purposely spill a drink to test their parents' reaction (and patience!) or just because it's fun to see milk splash all over Mom's clean floor. Hopefully, most people outgrow the desire to have food fights by the time they graduate from college. In the work world, however, there may be times when, despite everyone's best intentions and precautions, spills happen. Here's what to do if you work with hazardous materials and experience a spill:
- Know your hazardous material:
- Blood and body fluids are biohazard spills and require handling that is specifically designed for potentially infectious waste.
- Acids and caustics can be neutralized and absorbed.
- Pesticides, chlorine, and antifreeze are some common poisonous liquids.
- Paint requires solidification with a product such as XSORB Rock Solid prior to landfill disposal.
- Radioactive water, transfer chemicals, and contaminated water are some of the dangerous liquids that must be solidified prior to proper disposal.
- Immediately alert all personnel in the area of the spill.
- Don the appropriate safety gear. Hazmat suits, gloves, goggles and possibly facemasks may all be necessary before you attempt spill clean up.
- Depending on the nature of the spill:
- Open windows or doors for ventilation
- Close off the affected area to contain the spill.