In any environment, spills are hazardous and can cause adverse effects on the people and places involved. As such, like with illnesses, “prevention is better than cure.” This makes spill containment systems, especially for hazardous chemicals a necessity, in compliance with Safe Work Australia standards.
Sometimes incidents can go beyond our control. As such, spill control products, including granular spill absorbents, kits, and containment equipment can be used to control spills safely. It is crucial to have these products immediately available in areas where hazardous materials such as oil are used. Preparing oil spill absorbent products, such as pillows or socks in advance allows workers in each area to act immediately when an incident occurs. This could prevent further damage, possible accidents or even bodily harm.
Another way to ensure workplace safety against hazardous material is to prepare a kit and tailor it to the needs of each work area. A kit consolidates spill control products in one location. For compliance with the safety standards, ensure that each kit is accompanied by a set of personal protective equipment (PPE), selected based on the hazardous material handled by each work area.
Spill kits should be stored in a location where workers can immediately gain access to them in case of an emergency. Each worker should know where to find the spill kits. They should also be provided proper training on how to use them. Each worker needs to be aware that it is not only the safety of the facility and other workers that are at risk but their own as well. After all, incidents can be twice as dangerous, if not handled properly.
Preventing any workplace incident is always the most desirable course of action. Barring that and if a spill does occur, preparation and proper dissemination of information and training is what should follow.