Even in a controlled environment such as a laboratory, incidents such as accidents and chemical spill happen. These small mishaps might eventually become a huge disaster if not treated well. There are a lot of recorded incidents that made cataclysmic damage yet started in small things like a pipe leak. One great example of this is the Bhopal gas leak in India which created a gas cloud that was so huge it can be seen on the other town. The gas cloud killed more than 8000 people making it one of the greatest manmade disasters in the modern era. That might have been over the top, however, a simple mishap kick started it. With that being said, a list is provided below to tell you what to do when a chemical spill happens.

Planning

Planning is an essential part yet the most ignored part of preventing chemical spills. This is because it is the most tedious part of it but it will make everything easier for you and your coworkers in the lab. Start by mapping out the laboratory building so that you will know what to do in case of fire and smoke. Another thing is to designate emergency exits and evacuation plans. This will ensure that when an accident happens, the evacuation of the employees is executed well. Having fire hydrants and fire extinguishers that will kill fire is another thing to remember because this will stop the fire from spreading. In addition to this, write a spill response procedure and post it around the laboratory hall so that everyone could be aware of it. Check Absorb Enviro for more details.

Equipment

The equipment used to clean a chemical spill is called a chemical spill kit or a Hazchem spill kit. Before choosing one, remember that every chemical has a different reaction to other substances. Some chemicals might be flammable, reactive to air and/or water, corrosive or highly toxic. By knowing these chemical characteristics, choosing a spill kit will be much easier. A spill kit should contain a few pairs of disposable nitrile gloves, a few rolls of plastic bags, a ball point pen, a lab marker pen, a bottle of sodium bicarbonate (to neutralize acids), a bottle of citric acid (to neutralize bases), a mercury sponge container, and a few sheets of PH paper. In addition to that, the spill kit should have a waste bottle or an absorbent rag for the disposal of the spilled chemicals. This will not only ensure safety but will cause environmental protection as well.

Communication

Communication is another important thing to reduce the risk of greater damage. By communicating to your coworkers, things such as fire, gas leaks, possible injuries and even death can be avoided. It is important to let everybody know if you spilled something because it will alert them and will make them do the evacuation (if needed) and spill procedure.

Major catastrophes such as the Bhopal gas leak would have been avoided if they had a well-planned evacuation, gas leak and spill procedure. With that being said, they could have saved a lot of people. So in order to avoid it, it is strongly advised that one should follow the advises that are written above to ensure ones safety and his or her team. For more info, visit http://www.absorbenviro.com.au/spillkitserviceprogram

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