What does hazardous waste management entail? For those who do not work in the field, it may amount to a lot more than you think! Here are just a few of the things emergency responders do every day when they get the call that there has been a spill or exposure:
Spills are the most common types of hazardous material exposure. Major spills – those greater than 500 ml and containing an acutely hazardous material – are the most serious. These should be handled with the most care, as well, as they can be the most dangerous, even for those with training.
Minor spills are those containing less than 500 ml of a substance or in which the substance of 500 ml or more is not acutely hazardous.
Limiting Other Types of Exposure
There are other types of hazardous waste management than just rounding up spills. Some other types of dangerous exposures may include:
- Mercury releases: This is simply any unauthorized release of mercury into an area. Since mercury is regarded as an extremely dangerous substance, all mercury spills are considered major spill events.
- Hazardous gas releases: These releases are defined as any amount of gas that could potentially harm or endanger a building’s occupants.
- Select agent spills: This is a spill of any regulated agent into an unauthorized area. These spills are considered major spills and must be handled as such.
Evacuations and Emergency Medical Response
There is often more to emergency response services than simply cleaning up messes. Regardless of whether there is a mess to be cleaned or if cleaning and containment is possible, evacuation of the area and emergency medical attention for those exposed to the hazardous materials should always be a priority.
Those who are trained in providing these services should be present upon the arrival of response services. If they are not, immediate action should be taken to get victims into safe hands. If efforts can safely be divided, part of the response team should see to the safety of exposed persons while the remaining team members maintain the containment of the area where the spill or exposure occurred.
Want to learn more about companies that provide emergency response services and contain hazardous waste releases? Contact the Phoenix area industry experts at Kary Environmental Services to find out how you can keep your buildings and job sites safe and clean – no matter what!