Using the Solvent Spill Kit

Using the Solvent Spill Kit

Using the Solvent Spill Kitblack t shirt

Because solvents are so widely used in industry and manufacturing, exposure to theses chemicals is a common workplace risk. Some flammable solvents produce vapors and mists that, even at room temperature, can ignite and cause a fire. Because they are heavier than air, solvent vapors hang close to the floor. They may move toward a distant ignition source such as a spark from welding, a motor, or static electricity, and then explode. If someone is smoking in the general area of a solvent leak or spill, that can be enough to set off an explosion. Solvent vapors can accumulate in confined spaces and remain there for a long time, only to cause trouble unexpectedly.

Some solvent vapors are colorless and have no noticeable odor but they can still irritate the lungs and throat, burn the skin, and irritate or damage the eyes, which could lead to blindness. A Solvent Spill Kit, containing an absorbent, is vital in getting a spill under control and cleaned up quickly.

Handling A Solvent Spill

  • Restrict access to spill area
  • Determine the extent of the spill
  • A large flammable spill such as 5 gallons of ethanol should be cleaned up by the fire department or Emergency Response team. The flashpoint on this solvent is below room temperature and a spill this size could cause a large fire. Some companies recommend that anything larger than a 1 gallon spill requires the fire department.
  • Extinguish all ignition sources
  • Appropriate type of fire extinguishers should be available
  • If inside, open windows, if possible, to decrease vapor build-up in immediate area

Personal protective equipment depends upon the type and volume of spill

  • Protective gloves should always be worn to protect the skin
  • Face shield or goggles to protect against splashes
  • Respirator may be necessary to protect against toxic fumes
  • Protective viking sweatshirt and boot covers may be needed, depends upon spill
  • Confine spill with socks, pads or pillows as needed

Cover spill with BioRem absorbent from kit

  • It has been recommended that if the spill is 1 gallon in size, the absorbents should not be applied unless a trained responder is standing by with a fire extinguisher
  • The absorbent material raises the flashpoint, reducing flammability, and absorbs vapors and liquid
  • BioRem can be applied with a mop or a floor scrubber
  • Do not walk or track through the spill area
  • Use a scoop and whisk broom to clean up chemical residue from spill
  • Place in properly marked bag or bucket for disposal
  • Clean spill area thoroughly with BioRem Surface Cleaner, then wipe dry

Do not take chances with solvents! Since they are used in such a wide variety of chemicals, complete labeling of canisters and solutions is a must. MSDS information for each chemical should be on hand and available to employees. Remember, solvents are hazardous and prompt control and cleanup can make the difference between a minor incident or a major catastrophe.

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write by Leonard

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