[sc:date]Some people assume that only massive, large-scale oil spills, such as the Deepwater Horizon incident, are hazardous. However, even minor spills in the workplace create a dangerous situation that workers need to be aware of. If the company isn’t properly prepared for an oil spill, they could find themselves struggling to properly contain it. To learn more about the dangers of an oil spill in the workplace, keep reading.
Risk of Physical Injury To Workers
It’s no secret that oil is incredibly slick. If a worker happens to walk over a small patch of oil spilled onto a solid concrete floor or foundation, he or she may lose their balance and fall. Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the most types of work-related injuries, which is why it’s important for companies to take a proactive approach towards preventing them.
Even if your company’s oil is properly stored and contained to a designated area, it’s a good idea to let employees know about it. When employees are conscious of oil stores in a specific area, they’ll use more caution when walking and working around it. Companies can also place absorbent mats and pads underneath oil barrels to soak up any spilled oil. It’s the small steps such as this that go a long ways in creating a safe, employee-friendly workplace.
Risk of Fire
Of course, oil spills also increases the risk of a fire. If an open flame or heat source reaches the spill, it may ignite into a fireball. The first step in preventing oil-related fires is to choose a suitable location to store the chemical. Common sense should tell you to avoid storing it near sources of extreme heat. Keep as much distance between heat sources and oil as possible. Using industrial-grade barrels designed specifically for oil will also reduce the chance of a fire.
Risk of Harmful Runoff
Depending on the severity of the oil spill, it may impact the environment by polluting nearby water sources. If your workplace has a stormwater drain, make sure it’s covered immediately once a spill occurs. Allowing oil to seep into the stormwater drain creates a serious hazard to both the environment and anyone drinking local tap water. It only takes a minute to toss a cover over the drain, and doing so could protect your company from violation fines.
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