10 essential steps in case of a spill

10 essential steps in case of a spill


If a spill occurs, an efficient and safe cleaning is essential. Leaks and spills of hazardous materials, such as toxic, corrosive, radioactive or biological products, must be cleaned or delimited by taking the proper safety measures. Establishing preventative measures and spill controls are an integral part of occupational health and safety.

For the cleaning and decontamination of a leak or spill, any company storing or handling hazardous materials should have a spill kit nearby, containing all the material necessary for controlling leaks and spills such as:

  • Material neutralizing or absorbing the spilled chemical or biological substances
  • Protective clothing, safety glasses, masks with air-purifying cartridges and adapted gloves
  • Socks or absorbing materials to contain the spill

These cleaning kits are easily accessible, and placed near storage areas or where hazardous liquids are used. It is important to choose the appropriate absorbent, adapted to the type of leak, as well as considering the durability of the absorbing materials and its absorption capacity to avoid unnecessary costs.

Hazwik® portable spill kits

Hazwik spill cleaning kits allow to respond quickly and clean the spill of most liquids. The kits contain gloves, bags, sorbent socks, sorbent pads and instructions on how to clean up a spill. These sorbent cleaning kits are ideal for plants, laboratories, workstations and construction sites.

The Hazwik® portable spill kits are delivered in a yellow PVC bag, very visible and perfect for small spills of hazardous materials. With a 5-gallon absorption capacity, the kit contains:

  • (10) - 15" x 19" sorbent pads
  • (2) - 3" x 4' sorbent socks
  • A pair of nitrile gloves
  • One disposable bag and instruction sheet

10 step procedure following a spill

  1. Assess the Risk - Evaluate the substance spilled and identify the source. If you are not familiar with the liquid and its chemical properties, vacate the area and contact the proper authorities.
  2. Protective Clothing - Wear appropriate protective gear for the situation. If the source or the material is not identifiable, assume the worst.
  3. Contain the Spill - Contain the liquid and seal drains.
  4. Stop the Source - Close valves, rotate punctured drums and plug leaks where it is possible and safe to do so.
  5. Begin Clean Up - Use absorbents to safely clean up spilled liquids. In case of severe spills, contact the proper authorities for help.
  6. Contact Authorities - Report the spill to proper legal authorities in your community. Be sure to fill out all necessary reports in accordance with local laws.
  7. Dispose of Used Material - Absorbent materials take on the characteristics of whatever they absorb. Be sure to dispose of used absorbents and spilled liquids in accordance with local laws.
  8. Decontaminate - Clean all tools and reusable materials properly before reuse.
  9. Restock Materials - Replace absorbent materials and safety equipment used in any clean-up operation.
  10. Review Contingency Plans and Procedures – Review or create plans for the prevention, control and fight against spills. This comprehensive and specific plan describes both the necessary containment and countermeasures implemented to prevent spills. Also, in this plan, the intervention procedure to follow in case of a spill is also described.

Good planning remains the best option to prevent a spill. On an environmental aspect, companies storing hazardous liquids should consider the creation of plans regarding the prevention, control and countermeasures of spills. If you are looking for help or training on the emergency procedures to implement, do not hesitate to contact our experts.