The frequency of spills is much higher than you think; most incidents that occur are preventable however risks are inherent. For as long as you store or work with hazardous liquids there is a risk of a spill. Processes and Procedures can be put in place to mitigate these threats but the risks will never be reduced to nil…accidents will happen.
Being prepared for a spill manages your risk. Ensure prompt action and minimises the impact when a spill occurs.
Did you know that if a spill was to occur today, both the company and personnel onsite would be liable for that spill? Legislation requires all companies that deal with dangerous and hazardous substances to have a spill response plan and effective response equipment. There are substantial penalties for both the company and personnel if a spill contaminates the environment. The related penalties are determined by incident, industry, risk planning and the action taken as soon as the spill occurs. These incidents can be extremely costly for individuals, managers, company directors and the company itself.
How to Prepare for a Spill
Every organisation at risk for spills needs to have a Spill Response Management Plan or a Pollution Incident Response Management Plan. This plan should be tested at least every 12 months to ensure it’s accuracy of information and that the plan fits with the facility and staff allocations. All potential accesses for spills to waterways and drain pits should be mapped out and known to facility staff. Each plan should include step by step instructions for how to respond to a spill, contact details for onsite staff and emergency services. Appropriate spill response gear should be located in spill risk areas. This could include spill kits, floating oil containment booms, drain covers and spill containment booms.
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