Saturday, 12 March 2011

Effective Spill Cleanup Procedure

By Travis Zdrazil
Industrial accidents can happen anytime and the types of spillages can vary depending on the materials used in manufacturing or industrial plants. As the risks are varied, so are the immediacy of spill cleanup. There are several levels of clean up in as far as chemical spills and oil spills are concerned. It is often the first few minutes of the spill that is most critical. The exact materials in the spillage are supposed to be identified immediately after the spillage happens. In most factories and industrial plants, spill kits are strategically placed in areas where spillages are likely to happen. This is part of their instituted safety measures along with the specially trained response teams ready to take charge in case of an accident.
The first step in any spill cleanup is to contain the spillage. For oil spills on open waters, spill response team use oil absorbent booms or floating barriers to surround the area where there is a spillage to control it from spreading. These booms absorb all hydrocarbons including oil, gasoline, fuel, diesel, and lubricants. On land, the most common containment booms used are chemical hazmat booms. These booms are often used for chemicals. Hazmats absorb nearly all types of liquids, both water and oil-based.
Spill cleanup after containment would differ depending on the kind of liquids involved in the spillage. The spill kits for chemical spills and for oil spills would contain different sets of cleanup implements. There are typically three types of kinds kits: the Universal or General Purpose Spill Kit, the Oil Only Spill Kit, and the Hazmat Spill Kit. The Universal or General Purpose Spill Kit is the one of the most widely used as it covers most kinds of spillages. It contains gray absorbent pads that can absorb both water-based fluids and hydrocarbons or oil-based fluids. These are used in most industrial and manufacturing facilities including maintenance repair shops and factories.
The Oil Only Spill Kit is often used in the marine and the petroleum industry. These kits contain oil only white absorbent pads that repels water and absorbs oil. They might include other oil spill cleanup materials like:
1. The Oil Absorbent Sweep that is used along with the sorbent booms to "sweep" the film of oil that gets left behind after most of the oil spill has been absorbed.
2. The Oil Absorbent Pompoms that are made of polypropylene in thin strands that are joined together for oil absorption in high-surface areas.
3. The Oil Absorbent Net Bags that are filled with polypropylene strips to absorb hydrocarbons in large amounts.
On land, the Hazmat Spill Kit is the most often used in spill cleanup. Hazmat Yellow chemical absorbent pads are contained in these kits for use in the absorption of aggressive fluids as well as those of unknown chemical makeup. These pads are colored yellow for safety and cautionary measures to alert people of the possible hazards these chemicals may pose. Among the other spill cleanup implements included in the kit are:
1. The Chemical Hazmat Boom to contain potentially hazardous chemical spills.
2. The Chemical Hazmat Absorbent Rolls to quickly mop up and soak up chemical spills.
Any spill kit used in spill cleanup contain the basic safety equipment needed by individuals that form the spill response team to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of the spillage. These equipment include gloves, goggles, masks, lab coats, and footwear.
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