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DEALING WITH WORKPLACE HAZARDOUS SPILLS

Nearly any facility could have an hazardous spill. It is always a good thing to train your staff on how to handle chemical and material spills even when the risk of it actually spilling is minimal. OSHA defines five levels of training in the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response regulation.

Creating awareness for the first responder
This level involves everyone who enters a facility including personal who don’t usually deal with chemicals including office personal. The staff in this level only need four hours of training as they are taught the most basic issues regarding handling chemicals. The employees are taught how to identify an emergency and who to contact. Basically, the employees are taught how to detect emergency and who to get in touch with quickly.

Awareness for those in charge of operations
the first responder of operations is responsible for keeping unauthorized people away from the spills as well as preventing it from spreading. This level of training requires eight hours for it to be complete. They learn hazardous materials terms and risk assessment. Also they learn personal protective equipment use, simple control and containment operations and how to implement basic decontamination procedures.

Third level training for technicians handling hazardous materials.
The staff in this level of training are the ones that enter the spill area and prevent the material from spilling. Hazardous materials technicians need 24 hours of training. Their training covers chemical and toxicological hazards and risk assessment techniques. They also learn use of field survey instruments to identify hazardous materials, spill control techniques, plug leaking containers and complex decontamination procedures.

Training the specialist.
the training done in this level is given to the specialist in this field on how to handle hazardous materials and how to communicate this with the relevant authorities. This training takes 24 hours just like that of the technicians but it is more indepth when it comes to discussing the various types of hazardous material. They learn PPE for unique situations, how to determine what type of decontamination procedure to use and how to perform specialized containment operations.

Training the Incident commander
the incident commander is the one in charge of all the incidents that occur in the organization and as a result are entitled to receive the highest level of training. This commanders are entitled to receive 24 hours of class training even though the hours may vary from institution to institution. This is because they need to have this information at their finger tips as they are required to come up with emergency response plans. Incident commander is also required to be an expert in medical risks and decontamination.

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