Working with hazardous materials means that accidents in the facility involving chemical spills are especially dangerous.
You may not know how to approach cleanup. It’s almost always better to leave the hazardous waste cleanup to the professionals. This is especially true when you are unsure of what the chemical was and what exposure might do to your employees and those in nearby communities.
Continue reading to learn how your company may benefit from having an Emergency Hazmat Response Team on your payroll.
What Does an Emergency Hazmat Response Team Do?
A hazmat team handles problems in all capacities, including:
- Routine maintenance of industrial waste
- Emergency response to disasters
This may include clearing pollutants from a facility or facilitating a cleanup of hazardous material from a train or truck accident. These teams are fully prepared to handle hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead, arsenic, radioactive material, nuclear waste, carcinogens, and combustible chemicals.
Are They Qualified?
The people on your emergency response team are highly qualified to come into your warehouse, identify the problem, and clean it up thoroughly.
Every person must go through 24 to 40 hours of both in-class and hands-on instruction. To go along with this, OSHA mandates a yearly refresher course to make sure they know what they are doing. The response team leaders understand the importance of drills to maintain their skills for any potential disaster that might come their way.
How Do They Practice Safety and Prevent Contamination?
The members of the response team can keep themselves and other people safe through their safety protocols. They know the risks that they are taking to maintain the hazardous waste in dangerous situations.
As a result, they approach each scene with caution until they can perform health evaluations of the situation. They wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is specifically made for facing hazardous substances. This chemical resistant PPE usually includes:
- Hazmat coveralls
- Steel-toed boots and boot covers
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Face shields
- Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
Your emergency response team will be prepared to take on any situation that you may find yourself in.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Response Team?
With the right hazmat response team, you know that you are getting the best services. This means that you can expect:
- A fast response time
- No surprise fees in your bill
- A team that works around your schedule
- To continue production as soon as possible
An Emergency Hazmat Response Team assists several variables including the human population, the environment, your facility, and even compliance with strict regulations on a state and federal level.
Limiting Human Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
By having a response team on your payroll, you will save lives. Being exposed to hazardous materials can cause severe health problems. This can occur through direct contact with the chemicals and indirect contact with the chemical’s fumes.
In most cases, the symptoms will subside when no longer in contact with the hazardous material, but this isn’t always the case. There are several short-term and long-term side effects that one might experience from exposure to hazardous chemicals, including rashes, poisoning, health conditions, and even death.
Not only may it harm the employees in a facility where a chemical spill happens, but it can also make its way into the community and harm people there as well.
Salvaging Your Facility in the Aftermath
Your emergency hazmat response team is going to be able to identify the cause of the crisis and prevent further damage to your property. They will be able to avoid potential situations where the chemicals catch fire or explode. Depending on the severity, they may restrict access to certain areas so that they can be properly dealt with.
Saving the Planet & Protecting Its Assets
An emergency hazmat response team, like HCI Environment, can aid in the prevention of spreading contaminants into the planet’s water source. This includes our drinking water and water sent off to irrigate farms. If it’s not dealt with properly, it can threaten the overall health and safety of people and wildlife everywhere.
Complying With State and Federal Regulations
When you work alongside an emergency response team, they will handle making sure that their strictly regulated profession goes off without a hitch. You won’t have to worry about violating any of these regulations because you won’t be handling the mess caused by the chemical spill.
Plus, you’ll have a contingency plan in place when it comes to hazardous waste without having to put much thought into it. This means that your facility will have OSHA’s stamp of approval. Having a plan in place means that you can expect faster response times because the responsible agencies (like fire and rescue) communicate with each other.
What Can You Do?
If a chemical spill occurs in your facility, you need to take action immediately. Get employees out of the building and shut down the power sources. Call 911 to alert them of the emergency and place a call to your trusty emergency response team to take care of the rest.
Have witnesses to the event prepare to talk to the first responders. They will most likely have first-hand testimony to what chemicals spilled and what led to that moment. This will better prepare the hazmat team for what to expect when they enter the facility.
Hire an Emergency Hazmat Respond Team
By preparing for the worse, you are setting your company and your community up for success. Having a qualified Emergency Hazmat Response Team on-call means that you will be able to get a chemical disaster cleaned up before it causes a problem to your facility and community. If disaster strikes, they will respond quickly to maintain the chemical spill and prevent it from spreading.
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