Facility Spill Response Planning

January 9, 2019

If you use hazardous substances or store oils or fuels on-site at your facility, you need to be prepared to respond appropriately to a release. Having a written plan is your company’s first step to protecting human health, the environment, and your company’s assets from the aftermath of a spill.

Not all of your employees are qualified to clean up all releases. Training may be required if there are potential risks. Choosing the correct level of training and the right people to train is essential to maximizing your facility’s spill preparedness. Read more about spill response teams here.

Spill planning and reporting can be subject to rules from multiple agencies, depending on what spilled, where the spill happened, and whether it leaves your property.

Which Plan Does My Facility Need?

  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Contingency Plan
  • Facility Emergency Response Plan
  • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan

 Where do I Start?

You can start by assessing your facility’s spill potential. Take an inventory of the chemical products at your facility. You will want to include some details in your assessment such as the related hazards of each product, the amount you store on-site, the biggest container, and where these are stored and used in relation to employee workstations and other operations at the facility. This assessment may already be incorporated into your written plans.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are emergency responders able to get to our site quickly? These entities could include the local fire department, community hazardous materials team, or a private spill cleanup contractor.
  2. Does our facility have a written plan that provides for facility personnel responding to spills?
  3. Do we want employees to be able to take defensive actions to help stop a release from spreading?
  4. Do we want employees to be able to take offensive action to stop the release at the source?

Based on your answers, choose the level of spill response training that best suits your needs…continue by reading Cheryl Moran’s article on spill response training.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:09 am