From oil exploration and production companies to oil transport companies, every entity dealing with oil is at the risk of dealing with the harmful effects of the oil spill. As the chances of oil spills constantly hover over them, they should always be prepared to deal with this emergency. If you also deal with oil in any way, understanding what to do and what not to do is of utmost importance. These dos and don’ts of cleaning on-site oil spills will help you in this respect.
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– Do act quickly
The moment you notice an oil spill, act immediately. Take measures to stop the spill.
If you don’t take prompt action, the oil will pollute the site.
– Do have an oil spill kit
As already mentioned, oil spills can cause land and water pollution, which can be dangerous for land and aquatic animals. To stop the oil spill from running into neighboring land and water bodies, keep an oil spill kit handy. Your kit should include filter socks to arrest the fluid from moving further, spill pads or granules to soak up the fluid, and protective gears.
If you don’t have an oil spill kit, use sand, coconut husk, or cat litter for absorbing the oil.
– Do shut the valve
Leaks are one of the most common causes of oil spills. If an oil spill is due to a leak, shut off the isolation valve to stop the flow. Locate the source of the leak and block it using sealing putty or a rag. It will temporarily stop the flow.
Then, call professionals to seal the leak permanently.
– Do protect yourself
Before anything, you must protect yourself and your employees. Warn the staff about the oil spill accident by using signage across the workplace. Wear your gloves, eye mask, and other gears to prevent skin irritation and inhaling the toxic gases.
Immediately after the oil spill, open all the windows and doors to allow for ventilation.
– Do Dispose properly
Improperly disposing of oil-soaked sorbents or other items is a big no-no. These items are hazardous and hence, need to be disposed of under strict regulations.
– Do contact the insurance company
Cleaning on-site oil spills come with a hefty charge. After the oil spill, you would need to get the work site cleaned and the system repaired.
Reach out to your insurance company and discuss the coverage you will get. The company many also cover the cost of the oil you lost.
– Don’t procrastinate cleaning
Ignoring the spill or procrastinating the clean-up process would be a big mistake. Even a small spill can cause severe damage.
– Don’t clean the leak yourself
Oil spill clean-up is easier said than done. While you can clean a small spill, spills of large magnitude should be left to experts. Call a professional team to deal with hazardous oil spill clean-up.
– Don’t relax after a temporary solution
Stopping the leak using sealing putty or rag is a temporary solution. It won’t last long. Hence, even if the oil stops spilling after the temporary solution, call the engineer or get a new tank.
– Don’t use chemicals or detergents
Ensure that you don’t use harmful chemicals or detergents to clean the spill. Using these agents will further pollute the site. Also, steer clear from using a pressure hose to wash away the oil. The oil may spread further and cause pollution.
Refrain from washing the oil into drains, as drains flow in large water bodies.
The bottom line
Managing an oil spill requires common sense and quick action. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind while cleaning oil spills, and make sure you protect yourself first.