Preparing For A Fuel Spill
Whether you own or operate a convenience store or are in charge of a facility where large quantities of gas or diesel are stored, you should take fuel spills very seriously. Most gas stations experience small spills quite frequently as customers make mistakes with gas nozzles and gas cans due to inattention. Of course, other larger, more catastrophic spills occur. Thankfully, these spills occur much less often. But when they do happen, they’re much harder to deal with.
Preparing for a fuel spill is the key to effectively responding to any fuel spill. Below are some items to consider in order to be prepared for a fuel spill.
- Have a fuel spill kit that includes absorbent material, PPE, collection bags, and other materials.
- Know the location of your fuel spill kit. Having a spill kit does no good if you don’t know where it’s located.
- Locate emergency shut-offs and designate individuals or those in specific positions who will be responsible for switching the emergency shut-off button during an emergency.
- If your preparation only includes notifying your staff that emergency shut-offs exist but not who is responsible for engaging them during an emergency, this countermeasure may never get used.
The Four Cs of Responding to Fuel Spills
Control- Controlling a spill simply means stopping the release from occurring at the source. Whether it’s using the emergency shut-off switch for a large fuel release or flipping the handle down on a gas pump, controlling the spill is the first step for responding to fuel spills.
Contain- Once the source of the fuel release has been found and no more gas is being spilled, the next step is to ensure that the hazardous material causes the least amount of harm to people and the environment as possible. This is done through various strategies, including placing absorbent booms in front of drains and using other absorbent materials to stop the spill from spreading.
Clean up- With the spill contained, the next step is to clean up the hazardous material from the area. While this may sound like an easy task, this step can be the most tedious and arduous part of responding to fuel spills. Not only must you ensure that no fuel remains on the surface, but you must also ensure that it does not seep into the pavement or find its way into nearby waterways. We suggest that you call North Texas Spill Replacement to clean up the fuel spill for you.
Communicate- The last step when responding to fuel spills is to communicate what happened to all concerned parties. This step includes documenting what went wrong as well as what went right in order to learn from the experience and prepare a better response for the next spill.