- Choose a safety leader: Designating an employee to oversee safety and emergency issues will reduce confusion and cut response time when there is a spill. This person doesn’t have to give up their other duties and handle safety alone; they can work with other employees to come up with emergency plans and procedures for when an emergency arises.
- Have the gear: Fire extinguishers are required to be present in every type of business but depending on the hazards present, additional resources could be a good investment. If your company stores chemical products or fuels, having spill containment material could reduce the cleanup costs after a spill by thousands of dollars. The amount of material needed to contain a spill will depend on how much and what type of a chemicals are kept on site.
- Train your first responders: Paramedics, police and fire fighters are often referred to as first responders but during workplace accidents the first people on scene are the employees. Simply informing employees on the location of fire extinguishers and spill containment supplies isn’t enough. Employees should be aware of how to use emergency equipment and how to recognize when a situation is too dangerous to handle themselves.
- Know who to call: Most people’s first thought during an emergency is to call 911 but in situations where chemicals are being release it may be necessary to notify a HazMat response team as well. Make sure that employees are aware of who to call after an accident and post emergency contact info to avoid confusion and response delays.
- Vet your response team carefully: Choosing an emergency contractor isn’t something to take lightly. Calling on a contractor who claims to do that kind of work isn’t enough. Most do not have the knowledge or equipment to handle a chemical spill at your workplace and could mean wasted time, lost money and possibly fines from regulatory agencies. Check their references and see who they have contracts with.
Richard Cameron is the CEO of Protect Environmental Services.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI) is your best-in-class “clutch” performer when you need a First Responder. PESI tackle & remediate the most dangerous chemical spills & removal of hazardous waste. In fact, our pursuit of safety & rapid response for environmental sustainability surpasses ALL other environmental service companies. PESI has been rapidly responding to emergency environmental calls in North Central Texas since 1996.
Richard is also a published author of the “Ebola Response Procedures.” Additionally, he is considered an expert witness to many litigation and mediation cases. He works with multiple law enforcement agencies in forensics to hunt down illegal dumping perpetrators.