Many materials that are used in the production industry are hazardous and it is therefore necessary for production plants dealing with such materials to take the necessary precautionary measures (Ohl & Moser, 2007). In this scenario, the plant is in a mess after a fork lift punctured a drum of 55 gallon containing dangerous materials that are believed to be either strong acid, base or oxidizer raw materials. This paper analyses how the situation can be handled to restore normality in the plant.
This type of chemical spill can be categorized as complicated since it not just a simple chemical spill on the floor that can be easily wiped out. There are multiple chemical that are involved some of which are highly reactive, toxic and flammable. Again the spilled chemicals are not full identified and they can easily spread to other tanks that are lying next to the punctured tank. Though there are no employees who are reported to be injured, the situation may worse and cause more harm if not well handled. It will be therefore necessary to evacuate all the employees in all the departments immediately (Egorov & Savitskaya, 2010).
Procedures and actions
After arriving at the scene of chemical spillage, the hazard material coordinator will instruct the whole team on the following; the first thing is to evacuate all the nearby places to ensure no worker is exposed to danger. In this scenario, the spillage happened between the production department and the storage area and it therefore necessary to ensure no worker is inside these areas. It may also be necessary to confine the area of spillage to ensure no one is crossing in that area and all the doors and windows of the storage building are closed to contain any fire that may result. Secondly, he will call chemical experts either from the plant or from outside to come and restore the situation. They will be working hand in hand with fire department personnel to ensure that all the leaking chemicals are stopped and the one already spilled in the ground is wiped appropriately. These chemical experts will also identify the split chemical and all the other surrounding chemical tanks to know whether they can react with the spilled chemical (Royle et al., 2011). In this situation, the punctured tank is just next to other tanks containing flammable chemicals. Chemical experts will therefore be required to remove the neighboring tanks to prevent the situation of fire. After assessing the situation, hazard material coordinator may instruct chemical experts to evacuate all the dangerous chemicals in the building to prevent any scenario of fire. Finally, the coordinator may gather all the necessary information about the situation, record it in the production office to be forwarded to the plant manager. Some of the information to be gathered includes the name of the spilled chemical, the quantity and the location of the spill, the number of workers injured if any and whether there was explosion or fire and the damage caused. This information can be gathered by assessing the situation with the help of other experts like chemical experts.
In order to deal with this situation, hazard material coordinator need to lead the whole rescue team to stop chemical linkage and to prevent any explosion or fire that may result. Cooperation among the rescue team will be also important in order to deal with this situation more effectively.
Egorov, A. & Savitskaya, T., (2010).Methods and models for the risk analysis and security management of chemical plants. Theoretical Foundations of Chemical Engineering, 44(3), 326-338.
Ohl, C. & Moser, F., (2007). Chemical Leasing Business Models—A Contribution to the Effective Risk Management of Chemical Substances. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 27(4), 999-1007.
Royle, D., Fitch, R. & Gillespie, P., (2011). Managing reactive chemical hazards in gas scrubber systems. Loss Prevention Bulletin, 219, 25-32.