Don’t take the chance when responding to an unknown chemical spillage

Chemical spillages, no matter what size, need to be treated seriously due to the risks posed to workers, the environment and surrounding residents. As part of your initial risk assessment it’s important to identify all chemicals stored and used on site. This will ensure that your facility is prepared and safe spill response can be achieved when a chemical spillage strikes.

However, even with the proper chemical storage solutions, spill response procedures and equipment in place, chemical spills can still happen. Unknown chemical spills pose even more of a danger as responders don’t know what they are dealing with. Consider the precautions that had to be taken, and the injury caused when a small chemical spillage occurred at a bioresearch company in Slough last month.

Four litres of an unknown chemical spilled leading to a person being rushed to hospital after breathing in the fumes. Fire fighters were called to contain the spill, whilst police helped to evacuate workers and put a containment area around the building. Surrounding roads were closed off to facilitate the emergency services work but police specified that the chemical didn’t pose any risk to anyone outside the building. Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus worked to move the spill to a safe area at the site to reduce the risk.  Further information on the spillage can be found here

The extreme measures taken show the importance of identifying all liquids stored and used throughout your facility to ensure the appropriate spill response procedures can be taken. To help reduce the risk of a spillage reaching work floors and causing  injury to workers store chemicals on spill containment pallets in areas where there is good ventilation.  

Have you experienced a chemical spill in your facility? How did you respond? Let us know by commenting on our blog or posting on our wall at


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