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Incident response planning and spill clean-up

In our last article we discussed the importance of having an incident response plan in place so you can cope with any type of spillage at your industrial site. We also listed a few ways by which a spill could occur. In this article we will briefly discuss the areas a spill incident could affect and the impact it could have, not only on the environment but also on your company.

Spills can happen at any time and the spilled liquid can find its way into systems such as:

• Surface waters

• Marine eco-systems

• Standard drainage systems

• Ground water

• Soil

Some toxic substances also produce noxious fumes, which can be a hazard to persons and the environment.

The effects of a spill can sometimes be seen immediately, but all too often they are not noticed until it’s too late and the effects are long lasting. This is why it’s important to have an incident response plan in place.

A spill may not only damage the environment however, it may also negatively affect your reputation. You will be responsible for the clean-up costs and there may be fines imposed or costs to be met at court.

Having spill kits in place at all areas of high risk and making sure that your employees are adequately trained to respond quickly can really help. But these alone are no substitute for a detailed response procedure.

Previous article Understanding Requirements for Hazardous Substances: Prevention, Storage, and Clean Up

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