Basic Components of a Spill Kit

The contents of a spill kit vary, depending on the type and quantity of each chemical used at a facility, factory, or institution. When constructing spill kits, the type and amount of equipment compiled for each kit should be sufficient to address any spill that employees can safely respond to; as mentioned previously, procedures and training should inform employees about how to safely use spill kits, what size spill can be safely managed, and when to stop and contact emergency response professionals for assistance. A spill kit can be essential to saving lives and preventing a more serious disaster.

A typical spill kit will contain three types of necessary equipment: Personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment and materials to clean-up small spills, and equipment to contain larger spills. A spill kit should also include heavy-duty gloves made of nitrile or neoprene, chemical resistant safety glasses (goggles for areas where chemicals that may irritate eyes are used such as acids), and a disposable lab coat or apron. For areas where larger spills could potentially occur and thus be a more serious threat, a disposable protective suit and boot covers should be included in the kit. Other protective equipment based on specific facility conditions may also be necessary (e.g., hard hat, steel toe boots, or dielectric equipment).

The contents of a spill kit should be tailored to the types and quantities of chemicals that can potentially spill. While granular absorbents and spill pads and booms can be used to clean-up or contain most spills, not all spills are created equal. For example, some spilled chemicals must be neutralized prior to being absorbed. Also, it’s critically important to be aware of situations where incompatible chemicals or clean-up materials are co-located and could potentially come in contact with each other.

OSHA Extends Enforcement Date of Certain Provisions of the Beryllium Standard to August 9

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced today that it is extending the enforcement date of certain provisions of the new Beryllium Standard to August 9, 2018.

The requirements include beryllium work areas, regulated work areas, methods of compliance, personal protective clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, housekeeping, communication of hazards and recordkeeping.

Last month, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to further extend the compliance dates of the remaining requirements until December 12, 2018.

On May 11, 2018, OSHA began enforcing the permissible exposure limits for the construction and maritime industries, as well as other requirements of the general industry standard. However, it will not enforce any other provisions for beryllium exposure in those standards unless it provides notice. Certain compliance dates outlined in the rule remain unchanged. Enforcement of the general industry requirements for change rooms and showers will begin March 11, 2019, and requirements for engineering controls will begin March 10, 2020.

To read the full news release from OSHA regarding this update, click here.


In Spill Cleanup, When Do You Need a Neutralizer?

Environmentally hazardous is a chemical hazard, in which significant damage to the environment is caused by the presence of a spilled chemical substance. It is defined in the Globally Harmonized System and in the European Union chemical regulations.

Toxicity or other hazards do not imply an environmental hazard, because elimination by sunlight (photolysis), water (hydrolysis), or organisms (biological elimination) neutralizes many reactive or poisonous substances. Persistence towards these elimination mechanisms combined with toxicity gives the substance the ability to do serious, irreparable damage in the long term. Also, the lack of immediate human toxicity does not mean that the substance is environmentally nonhazardous. For example, tanker truck-sized spills of substances such as milk can cause a lot of damage in the local aquatic ecosystems: The added biological oxygen demand causes rapid eutrophication, leading to anoxic conditions in the water body.

When a hazardous chemical is spilled, either on the factory floor, on a highway or bi-way, or even during the production of said chemical, then it is imperative, and in most countries required by statute, to have trained responders deploy a neutralizing agent. This particular type of agent will help prevent fires, loss of life, and long term damage to the environment. These chemical neutralizing agents need to be used when toxic chemicals, flammable liquids, and many other hazardous chemicals are accidentally spilled. Caustic neutralizers, hazardous containers, and solvent neutralizers are chemicals that each and every shop should have when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of the employees and the surrounding environment. The best way to prevent an accident from becoming a fatal accident or environmentally damaging spill is to have supply of neutralizing chemicals along with trained personal at the ready; without these two components, lives will be at risk.

Infographic: Designing and Implementing a Workplace Safety Program

Below is an infographic about designing and implementing a workplace safety program, courtesy of Atlantic Training, one of the country’s top suppliers of employee training solutions. Click here to learn more about the different training platforms they have to offer.

workplace safety program