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Prepare your own Spill Response Plan

19 Aug 2008


Store spill kits close to high risk areas

Ensure drums are covered to prevent rain water intrusion

Be aware of your sites drainage system


Follow these six simple steps to formulate your own SRP. Should you wish to prepare a more detailed plan you can get advice from your local Council’s Pollution Control Officers, or contact an Environmental Consultant.

1. Assess Your Risk 

*Ensure all substances are identified and clearly labelled.

*Understand the hazards associated with each substance used, stored or transported.

*Get the Material Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS) for all substances you use.

* Identify locations and causes of any past spills, plus possible high-risk areas and activities.

2. Reduce Your Risk

*Ensure high-risk areas such as loading docks, decanting and process areas are adequately contained and/or covered to prevent rainwater intrusion and contamination.

*Minimise the volume of substances stored at your site.

*Consider using less hazardous materials, for instance water based rather than solvent based inks.

*Ensure work areas are kept clean, tidy and safe at all times.

3. Prepare: Think ahead - what will you need to cope with a spill?

*Be specific. Ensure your plan covers each area of risk.

*Consider ‘worst case’ and ‘most likely’ case scenarios.

*Map out your site’s drainage system - access points, connections to public systems and discharge points to natural waterways. Clearly label rainwater drains on site and on your map.

*Record and post notices on site giving contact names and numbers for emergency

assistance and waste disposal agencies.

*Obtain supplies of containment, clean up, disposal and safety equipment required to deal with the substances you use. Store these close to areas of high-risk.

4. Draft Your Plan: Write two versions

a. A specific and detailed plan for training purposes.

b. A concise, one page version for posting at areas of high-risk.

5. After a Spill - Review and Restock

*Immediately restock all spill response materials used.

*Report all incidents that require a clean-up response to management.

*Review your SRP and update as necessary to be better prepared.

*Try to learn from each incident and strive to prevent similar accidents from reoccurring.

6. And Finally, Train Your Staff

*When they join your company.

*At regular intervals to ensure swift action in the event of a spill.