This week as we step into summer and get ready to relax by the pool let’s talk chemical safety. Many industries work around or near chemicals and/or hazardous materials all day. These chemicals might not be dangerous by themselves or when contained, but what will you do if there is a leak? Is there someone trained on your staff to start the HAZWOPER procedures before 911 gets there? Today I will tell you about an event that happened on May 26th 2017, then I will tell you how HAZWOPER training could have changed the chain of events from this day.
• On May 26th, 2017, a spill of pool chemicals, which give off vapors when exposed to air, forced the evacuation of a fitness center. The employee who spilled the chemicals breathed the vapors, then became ill. The manager of the facility called 911, who had them evacuate the facility. Then they waited for emergency response to arrive, assess the situation and ultimately call their hazmat team in. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.
• This is how one person with HAZWOPER training could have changed the events of that day. Let’s say one of the effected employee(s) had taken an OSHA 40 Hour HAZWOPER 29 CFR 1910.120 training course. The effected employee(s) would have known they needed proper respiratory protection while working with the chemicals to prevent a chemical exposure. If a spill still occurred they would have known how to properly contain the spill, evacuate the building, start cleaning the spill, start decontaminating the area, notify the proper authorities, and help prevent employee(s) from getting sick.
This case was a very small glimpse into how HAZWOPER training can prevent and help in the event of an accidental spill and/or leakage. Fortunately, no one at the fitness club was seriously injured, but that is not always the case. Especially when dealing with highly reactive chemicals like chlorine. If you would like to find out more about HAZWOPER training or join us for our next open enrollment class please visit our HAZWOPER Training Registration page or call us at 806-783-9944.