#YHSafetyTips - Spill Containment

Posted by Ashley Bechtel in #YHSafetyTips, Dec 07, 2016

If you work in a facility that deals with chemicals, hazardous or not, you need to know the proper way to store them so that they do not do any damage to any person or the environment. Every facility is different, and will require different ways of tackling this issue.

What is spill containment?

  • -Spill containment refers to portable containers such as drums that are used to hold liquids such as hazardous chemicals. When storing these chemicals, you must follow the guidelines set in place so that a spill does not happen.
  • -You must use a base underneath of the containers that is impervious to leaks, spills, and accumulated precipitation.
  • -This base must be free of cracks and gaps
  • -The base must be sloped or allow for draining of the liquid in some way
  • -The containment system must have enough capacity that it can hold 10% of the volume of the containers or the volume of the largest container, whichever is larger.
  • -Spilled or leaked waste and accumulated precipitation must be removed from the collection area in a timely manner to prevent overflow

What is secondary spill containment?

  • -Secondary spill containment is a system used as a back up to large stationary systems. These are typically tanks that contain hazardous materials. These systems must be constructed to meet the following guidelines: Systems must be constructed or lined with materials that are compatible with the liquids they will hold.
  • -They must be constructed with the appropriate strength and thickness to prevent failure
  • -They must be placed in a location that can support the weight of the liquid and the tank and that will prevent failure due to settlement, compression, or uplift
  • -Systems must contain a leak detection system that is designed and operated so that it will notify users of any issues with a reasonable time, typically 24 hours.
  • -Systems must be sloped or allow for the draining and removal of liquids.
  • -Systems are required to contain at least one of the following: a liner (external to the tank), a vault, a double-walled tank, or an equivalent device

No matter what type of spill containment you are dealing with, there are rules that must be followed to ensure the safety of everyone around.

  • -All chemicals must be labeled and have appropriate warnings
  • -Store like chemicals together and other chemicals that could cause a reaction stored away from one another.
  • -Keep all flammables stored in appropriate containers.
  • -Chemical should always be stored at eye level and never on a top shelf.
  • -Never store chemicals on the ground.
  • -All toxic materials should be stored in a locked cabinet designated for poison materials
  • -You should label all chemicals when you receive them
  • -Odorous materials should be stored in a ventilated cabinet.

Check back next week when we will cover how to protect yourself and your employees from cold stress.

To view last weeks post about how to stay safe after a fall accident happens click here.

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