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FYI: The Cleaning Chemicals You’re Using Can Pose Spill Risks

Toby Graham /

Have you updated your organization’s spill response plan recently?

If not, you really should. ASAP.

A recent article in Industrial Safety & Health News offers an important reminder that the substances used to fight COVID-19—including “bulk hand sanitizers, disinfecting cleaners, and other sanitizing chemicals”—pose health and safety risks of their own. More chemicals in the workplace mean greater potential for spills, slips and falls, and accidental exposure to toxic substances.

Spill Response Plans

An effective spill response plan contains information about what chemicals are kept on-site, as well as what to do in the event of a spill: how to create awareness of the incident, stop the spread, absorb the spill, dispose of used absorbents, disinfect the area, and record the event.

When a spill happens, be sure to use the right absorbents. You probably know this already, but cleaning up industrial spills takes more than paper towels.

Carolyn Itle of safety equipment provider NewPig writes:

“Knowing what liquids are stored at your facility is essential to selecting absorbents that are chemically compatible. Universal absorbents work great for water-based liquids, but what about caustics, acids or unknowns like biohazards? Then you’ll need hazardous material (haz mat) absorbents to ensure chemical compatibility. If you’re unsure about what type of absorbents to select, consult with your safety manager or other expert. Absorbents are also available in multiple formats, such as mat pads, socks, booms, pillows and loose.”

It’s also important to select and use the right personal protective equipment and make sure all employees are trained on spill prevention and response procedures. For more tips, read the full article here.

If you need assistance creating or training your employees on your spill response plan, contact KPA.

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