A chemical spill is a major issue in laboratories and industries due to which the workers have to perform the chemical spill cleanup process. Since the workers have to regularly deal with chemicals in these environments, they should be acquainted with the chemical spill cleanup process. This will help them properly deal with any arising situation limiting the hazardous and damaging impacts of the chemical. Similarly, a well-informed and well-coordinated chemical spill cleanup process can help restore the environment to its original state allowing the workers to continue their work as soon as possible. There are different kinds of chemicals that are used in laboratories and industry and their chemical properties can be starkly different from each other. A cleanup process depends upon the properties of the chemical since some of them may have strong reactive properties while others may be less reactive. However, a general process can be described, which can help an informed person deal with a chemical spill.
Precautions required during Chemical Spill
A chemical spill up can be of serious consequences for the workers, environment and the equipment in the surrounding. Similarly, the spilled chemical can cause damage to the person carrying out the cleanup process. It is, therefore, recommended that certain precautions be followed in order to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. A few precautions are as below:
- The person carrying out the chemical spill cleanup process should be fully covered in the safety gear. Lab or industrial safety gear should be readily available in such cases.
- Vapors from chemical can lead to breathing difficulties for the workers. The person performing the cleanup process should be wearing an air filter or a breathing mask.
- The chemical and vapors should be stopped from spreading to other parts of the
- If the chemical is inflammable, all efforts should be made to keep it from catching fire. The safety gear should also be fire safety graded.
Chemical Spill Cleanup Process
The specific chemical spill cleanup process can vary from one category of chemicals to another and only a well-informed person should perform the cleanup process. However, there are few steps, which are common for all types of chemical spills. They are stated as below:
- In the first step, you should cordon off the area where the chemical spill has occurred. No vapors or dust should leave this area for the safety of other people.
- Make sure that the chemical does not spread to other parts of the building.
- Now, if the spilled chemical is of acidic or basis nature then you can neutralize it.
- In this step, start absorbing the chemical. It will be easy to do if the chemical is neutralized. Special techniques should be used for absorbing the chemicals.
- The absorbent and the chemical residue should be properly stored.
- Make sure that the entire spilled chemical has been absorbed. Continue this process until all spillage is absorbed.
- Now, dispose of the absorbed chemical following the standards of safety.
- In the end, decontaminate the area following the standard procedure so that the original working environment can be restored.