In The Corner

A Safety Guide to Proper Chemical Spill Removal

Proper Chemical Spill RemovalHandling chemicals require safety precautions and in the event of a spillage, you need to ensure that you clean it up promptly and properly. It is essential that you have a spill kit on hand or use protective materials in managing it. Peruse below safety guide in case you find yourself in a chemical emergency. urges not cleaning up a spill if:

      • You spilt more than one chemical;
      • The amount spilt is more than a litre or more than the absorbent can handle;
      • The chemical spilt is categorised as poison or toxic;
      • You are not comfortable with the situation;
      • You are trying to remedy a secondary emergency situation, such as fire;
      • You spilt an unknown chemical or you are unaware of the hazards it involves;
      • The chemical is highly explosive or flammable.

If you can clean up a liquid chemical spill without assistance, refer to these steps:

      • Determine the type of chemical spilt and determine if you know how to clean it up;
      • Use proper personal protective equipment before you start cleaning;
      • Select the appropriate neutralising agent for the chemical spill;
      • Apply the absorbent material or neutralise it by encircling the spill before applying it on the centre. Add a general absorbent or vermiculite for extra absorption afterwards. You can then shovel or sweep spilt material and neutralise the area using pH paper (for acid and caustic spills);
      • Dispose of the materials used to clean up the spilt chemical inside a sealed, leak proof container or bag;
      • Ensure that you label the bag or container as hazardous waste.

Cleaning up chemical spills is a risky task as it may endanger your health if you do not know how to properly handle it. Follow the precautions and steps listed to protect yourself. Otherwise, call a professional for help.