September 16, 2020
Small gasoline spills at a local shop may not make national news like when a tanker sinks, but they are still very dangerous to people and to local wildlife. It is extremely important that any gas spill, even if it is small, is treated with respect and cleaned up properly so that the risks of fire or environmental damage are neutralized. Learning all you can about what can happen with a gas spill, as well as proper clean up techniques, can avoid major issues for any shop.
The damage a spill can cause depends greatly on how far the gas spill spreads. It is a slip and fall risk for people or vehicles in the area, and of course the fumes are a risk of fire. There is good reason that gas stations do not allow smoking. The same rule applies anywhere near a gas spill. If the spill gets into the water supply it can poison fish, animals, and people by damaging the drinking water. gas also presents a serious risk to water treatment plants if the spill reaches the storm sewers.
The first step in dealing with a gasoline spills is to stop the flow of liquid. Any effort to clean a gasoline spill will not be successful if it is immediately contaminated by additional gas. Of course, this means finding out the source of the spill. Everyone working to stop the spill should be qualified and take sufficient precautions. Turn off any valves and stop up any punctured containers. Plugs or putty can be a great help when trying to plug up a hole, but there are a lot of things that can work in a pinch.
Second, work on cleaning up the gasoline spills. There are plenty of HAZMAT supplies on the market to help with this process. One kind works by absorbing the spill itself, which is simple but does not stop fumes or keep the gas from being flammable. These usually are some sort of powder and may be either loose or contained in a pack to make it easier to handle. Depending on the type of spill, you might be able to use a solidifier that will react with the gas and form into a rubbery compound, which greatly reduces the fumes produced. There are even products that combine the two types of products to work regardless of the type of gas or the surface it is spilled on.
Now that the immediate issue is controlled, it is time to clean up the gas and the medium you used to soak it up. Collect the absorbent product used, still being careful not to get the gas near any electricity or heat source, and store it until it can be properly disposed of. You may want to spread something on the area to help counteract the slipperiness until the floor can be cleaned. Most shop floor cleaners will be able to remove the gas residue and minimize stains, so a thorough cleaning will be in order as soon as possible.
It is very important to dispose of your hazardous waste properly. A proper HAZMAT disposal location will depend on your local ordinances. At TransChem Environmental we follow all proper procedures and regulations while cleaning up gas spills, picking a proper HAZMAT disposal site, and safely transporting your hazardous waste. Never just throw out this type of waste in your regular trash. It can be very harmful to the environment as well as leaving you liable to stiff fines and penalties. To learn more about how we can partner with your business to provide the best waste management disposal call TransChem Environmental or contact TCE today!