Time is of the essence when it comes to containing and cleaning spills in the workplace. Earlier this month, 300,000 West Virginia residents were left without drinkable tap water when 7,500 gallons of a coal-cleaning chemical leaked out of a storage tank before ending up in the Elk River. You can read more about the West Virginia chemical spill in our previous blog post located here. Perhaps if the chemical leak was identified earlier, and crews took the appropriate steps to contain it, this incident would have never occurred.
Of course, this is just one of the reasons why companies should keep fast-response products on hand. Crews must work vigilantly to contain and clean up the spilled chemical to minimize its impact. Waiting around ‘contemplating’ the next move in a spill cleanup will only allow the problem to grow worse. But what exactly is a “fast-response” product? And which ones should you keep in the workplace? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
One product that falls under the category of fast response is granular absorbents. This stuff, shown in the image to the right, is designed to quickly absorb liquids on contact. Whether it’s oils, solvents, lubricants, coolants, water or any other non-aggressive liquid, you can quickly clean it using a granular absorbent product.
Some of the most popular and commonly used granular absorbents include Grab-sorb, Super Sorbent, Peat Moss Absorbent and Corn Cob Absorbent, all of which are produced using recycled or all-natural materials. This means you can safely use it to clean up spills without fear of polluting the environment or your surroundings with additional chemicals.
Another fast-response product for cleaning up workplace chemical spills are absorbent socks. No, this isn’t the type of sock you wear on your feet (although it looks quite similar). Absorbent socks are specially designed tubes filled with a highly absorbent material, such as polypropylene. When a chemical spill occurs, you can toss a couple of these into the heart of the spill to quickly absorb it.
Absorbent socks come in a wide variety of styles, including universal, oil, hazmat and corn cob.
So, which of these fast-response products should you keep on hand in your workplace? As the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry, holds true. The exact items for a spill response kit varies depending on which chemicals the company uses; however, you can never have too many socks and granular absorbents on hand for emergency situations.