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8 steps to follow when responding to a chemical, oil or hazardous spill

Accidents happen, therefore you should have plans in place and steps to follow when a spill in the workplace occurs.

These 8 steps can assist you when responding to a chemical, oil or hazardous spill.

1. Assess the risk 

  • That is faced to personnel, the environment & property.
  • Inform colleagues & wait for at least one other person is in attendance before dealing with the incident.
  • Determine the liquid type, the quantity & if there are casualties.

2. Protect 

  • Wear P.P.E so you can safely respond to the spill.
  • Check the S.D.S. (Safety Data Sheet) for any hazards associated with the liquid spilled.

3. Contain the Spill

  • This will reduce area of contamination & lessen the impact of the spill.
  • Use absorbent socks, brooms & physical barriers.

4. Stop the spill

  • Once the spill has been contained STOP the source of the spill; roll a drum damaged side up, turn a tap off, plug the hole in a container etc. & if appropriate decant any remaining liquid into a secondary container.

5. Re-assess

  • RE-ASSESS the situation before starting clean upensure the spill is fully under control.

6. Clean up 

  • Treat all contaminated material as the liquid spilled & dispose of clean up equipment accordingly.

7. Decontamination

  • Ensure all the personnel involved with the spill are fully decontaminated.
  • The site of the spill, all P.P.E. & equipment must also be fully decontaminated & checked.
  • If items have been damaged or cannot be fully decontaminated, dispose of accordingly & replace with new.

8. Report and replenish 

  • De-brief all personnel involved, compile a complete report of the incident and fill out all associated paperwork.
  • If needs be, change your procedures and/or the location of some or all of your spill response equipment.
  • Remember to replenish/re-stock all front line equipment and back-up stocks including P.P.E., drain covers etc.


Spill Doctor’s mission is to assist companies in creating safe and complaint workplaces by providing a range of environmental and health and safety products.