Chemical spills are hazardous and can be fatal if not handled with care. You need to follow precise steps to overcome the problem. But fret not, this article will cover all aspects of it. So read on to find out!
1. Hazardous chemical spills and emergency response procedures
The type and quantity of hazardous compounds used in laboratories necessitate advanced preparation to prevent and manage chemical spills. Cleaning chemical spills should only be performed by individuals who are experienced and trained in the procedure. To clean up minor spills, Horizon Marine’s spill kits containing instructions, absorbents, reactants, and safety equipment will be your true guide.
Three variables determine whether a hazardous materials spill constitutes an emergency or not. If more than one litre was spilled, it is considered a severe spill, and you should contact the chemical safety office for help.
What are the risks posed by the spilled material? If the spill is less than one litre but poses an immediate threat to health, safety, and the environment, or is an urgent fire hazard, it is considered a serious spill, and you should follow Emergency Response Procedures for Chemical Spills.
If the leak is outside of the laboratory or outside of the area where the material is typically used, and/or there is no trained person available to clean up the incident, you should contact the Chemical Safety Office for assistance.
All laboratory personnel and users of hazardous materials must receive training on how to properly dispose of waste. Spill Kits are necessary for all places where chemicals are used or stored; workers in these areas must be taught how to utilize the kits and activate the Emergency Response Procedures for Major Spills.
2. Minor Chemical Spill – Non-Emergency
Small spills (1 litre) do not pose an immediate risk to fire, safety, the environment, or human health.
- Notify those in the immediate neighbourhood of the spill.
- Wear protective clothing, such as safety goggles, gloves, and a lab coat with long sleeves.
- Avoid breathing the spill’s vapours.
- Confine spill to tiny region.
- Use the necessary equipment to absorb and neutralize inorganic acids and bases. To dispose of residue, collect it, place it in a container, and contact the Chemical Safety Office at extension.
- Use the proper kit or absorb spills with vermiculite, dry sand, or diatomaceous earth for other chemicals. Collect residue, place it in a container, and dispose of it as hazardous trash.
- Water should be used to clean the spill site.
3. Chemical Spill Kits
Horizon Marine’s spill kits must be readily available in the laboratory. Horizon Marine, the best spill kit manufacturer in UAE includes materials for cleaning up spills of all laboratory chemicals, such as:
- Gloves with Chemical Resistance
- Agents neutralizing acids and bases
- Absorbents for extremely reactive acids and explosive liquids
- If you have aldehyde solutions in the laboratory, use Polyform F.
- Scraper and Scoop for gathering absorbed substances
- Hazardous Material Bags or containers for collecting and disposing of spilled stuff.
4. Emergency Procedures for a Major Spill
Large Spills (> 1 Liter or a substance poses an imminent fire, safety, environmental, or health concern regardless of quantity). Spills of larger than 1 liter of ethanol, methanol, strong acids or bases, or any quantity of extremely volatile organics, as well as mercury compounds, are examples of hazardous releases.
- Stop work
- Stop all ignition sources
- Assist any injured individuals if you can do so without risking your own safety. To evacuate injured persons, dial 1-2911.
- Don’t turn off the laboratory hood
- Leave the laboratory and lock the door
- Secure lab, i.e., restrict access to the lab
- Call Chemical Safety during normal business hours
- Remain near the lab until assistance arrives