Hazardous Materials (HazMat)
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Grainger has the products and services you need to prepare for, respond to and recover from all hazards, including HazMat spills and leaks.
Every day, businesses of all sizes use and transport hazardous products as part of their daily work, often without considering the risks involved. Specific plans and actions vary with the types of materials involved.
Building a Preparedness Plan
Communicating and testing a comprehensive HazMat emergency plan with your staff will help minimize loss to your business. Be sure to have personnel CPR and First Aid trained and compile an easily accessible emergency kit. FEMA, OSHA and NIOSH have published recommendations on building preparedness plans.
Contact your Grainger representative for more customized Business Continuity Planning assistance. One of our regional specialists will work with you and your Account Manager.
Preventing HazMat Incidents
Prevention is always the best and most important action to take. Hazardous materials come in many forms, including explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials.
- Identify and label all hazardous materials stored or handled in your facility and make sure that Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous materials are readily accessible.
- Read all labels carefully and always follow handling and disposal guidelines.
- Use only approved containers, and do not overload or overfill containers.
- Treat empty containers with the same caution as filled containers.
- Ensure proper ventilation.
- Do not handle hazardous materials if you have not been properly trained.
- If you see any storage or handling errors or violations, report them immediately.
Preparing for HazMat Incidents
Because hazardous materials can take many forms and interact in varying ways, no list of items to prepare is comprehensive. Consider the nature of hazardous materials you work with, and build your preparedness plan and select your products and equipment accordingly.
HazMat Protection Tips
- Identify other facilities, highways, railroads and waterways near your facility that use or transport hazardous materials.
- Determine how an incident could effect your operations; make sure your preparedness plan includes a response to this type of event.
- Always wear proper apparel when handling hazardous materials.
- Be aware of additional environmental guidelines for handling hazardous materials (e.g., ventilation standards).
- Make sure you are trained in proper handling techniques and response guidelines if any material is released.
- Stay alert to other acitvity around you that could react and initiate an incident.
Responding to HazMat Incidents
Immediate response is essential to limiting injuries and loss. Make sure your plan has been clearly communicated to employees and tested. Activate your communication plan to ensure that all employees and visitors to your facility are accounted for. Brief First Responders with incident details and specifics regarding injured people.
- Call authorities immediately.
- Vacate the area promptly and stay upwind from the incident if it is outdoors. If required to remain inside, turn off all ventilation that brings in outside air.
- Seal all gaps to prevent leakage into safe areas beyond the contamination zone.
- Attend to the injured and provide details as soon as emergency personnel arrive.
- Confine the contamination ONLY if you are qualified to do so. If not, provide immediate access and information for authorized responders.
Recovering from HazMat Incidents
Data from past disasters has shown that 40% of businesses that close after a disaster never reopen. Getting back to normal quickly is essential to your business and your employees.
HazMat Recovery Tips
- Return to the facility only after it is safe to do so.
- Seek guidance from authorities how to properly clean your facility and equipment, and confirm that decontamination follows recommended protocols.
- Be sure to wear OSHA recommended personal protective equipment and apparel as well as establish environmental safety controls throughout the cleanup process.
- Review procedures and take steps to prevent, minimize or mitigate future incidents.
- Report ongoing signs of continuing contamination to management and authorities as required.