There is an oftentimes-overlooked hazard that jeopardizes a safe work environment –leaks and spills of hazardous and flammable substances.
Earth moving, aerial, material handling and other equipment have the potential for leaks of hydraulic and transmission fluid, oil, fuel and coolant. These fluids are considered potentially hazardous not only to people, but to the environment. Consequently, federal law requires companies to have plans for spills and to report spill incidents to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Depending on the type of fluid involved, a spill or leak may present several possible hazards, including:
- Hazardous substances released in the air
- Hazardous substances released in the water supply
- Contamination of individuals who are exposed to the spilled substance
If a fluid leak occurs on a job site, the operator must immediately turn off the equipment and notify the job site’s safety manager. Steps should be immediately taken to evacuate the area around the spill, contain the spill, and decontaminate the spill area.
Spill containment can involve stopping the source of the leak, covering drains or possible fluid flow routes, and containing the fluid by building a dike, placing an empty container beneath the leak or using absorbent materials to soak up the spill.
Should a fluid leak occur from Neff Rental equipment on a job site, immediately shut off the equipment and contact the local branch or call 888-709-6333. Neff Rental field service technicians respond 24/7 to spill or leak incidents, and are trained to use approved containment methods, clean up contaminated areas, and properly dispose of spilled and leaking fluids.