Spill Prevention Planning: A Step-by-Step Guide

A spill prevention plan. It’s on your to-do list, but unless your business routinely handles hazardous waste, it may not be a critical line item. So you put out daily fires (metaphorically speaking!) and plan to get to that plan, someday soon.

Because spill prevention and spill clean up is Impact Absorbents’ specialty, we want to help make it easier for you to put a spill prevention plan in place now. As a Best Management Practice, a spill prevention plan will reduce your overhead and boost productivity, because you won’t be losing inventory or wasting valuable time and resources dealing with spill emergencies.

Here’s a brief, step-by-step guide to creating a spill prevention plan that serves your company’s needs:

  1. Research, Review and Assess:
  • Conduct a materials inventory throughout the facility.
  • Evaluate past spills and leaks.
  • Identify non-storm water discharges and non-approved connections to storm water.
  • Collect and evaluate storm water.
  • Summarize the findings of this assessment.
  1. Prepare Your Spill Prevention Plan, to include:
  • Facility description, nature of activity, types of chemicals used.
  • Site plan indicating locations of chemical storage areas, storm drains, surface water bodies on or next to site, collection basins and other spill prevention devices (this would be the place to list which Impact Absorbents and XSORB spill prevention and spill clean up products are on hand, or need to be ordered).
  • Notification procedures in the event of a spill. Include contact information for key staff and appropriate regulatory agencies.
  • Specific procedures for spill clean up.
  • Designated employee in charge of overseeing spill clean up.
  • Training for all staff in basic spill control and spill clean up procedures.
  1. Summarize and post the plan at appropriate locations (e.g., cafeteria, areas with high spill potential, meeting rooms, etc.).
  1. Implement the Spill Prevention Plan:
  • Spill clean ups should begin ASAP. Use environmentally safe products wherever possible.
  • In fueling areas, use small bags for convenience and small drums of absorbent for storage. Do not allow absorbent to run into floor drains or storm sewers.
  • Keep emergency spill containment and spill clean up kits at the facility site.
  • Review the Spill Prevention Plan at least annually and after any spill to see how effective it is and how it might be improved. You should also review the plan whenever a new material is introduced to the facility.

Once you put these simple steps into effect, your business will be well on its way to greater safety, efficiency and cost savings in years to come.

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