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Pesticide Spill Policy

Sample Company Policy on Pesticide Spills

If you have a pesticide spill, be calm and reasoned but work quickly to protect people and the environment. Try to enlist responsible help. Remember to protect yourself and others who are working on the spill. Follow the procedures in the order listed below unless you have good reason to do otherwise.

1. Stop the Spill
Turn off the pump, pinch the hose closed, place a leaky container inside a larger container -- do whatever you need to do to limit the size of the spill. Stopping the spill is usually simple, but occasionally is best left to experts; for example, when a spray rig overturns. Don't take unnecessary risks.
2. Decontaminate and Give First Aid
The safety of people in the spill site is your first priority. Anyone contaminated by the spilled pesticide should remove the contaminated clothing, wash down, and receive first aid as appropriate (check the label for first aid instructions).
3. Contain the Spill
Keep the spill from spreading. In particular, keep the pesticide from entering storm drains, wells, sewers, streams, and other water systems, or from moving into other occupied areas. For spills of liquids, create dams and dikes with sand, sorbent snakes, kitty litter, special spill control absorbents or, as a last resort, rags or paper towels. Outdoors you can trench around the spill area and/or build a dike of soil. Dry spills (wettable powders, dusts, granules) should be gently covered with a tarpaulin.
4. Isolate the Area
Keep people and pets out of the spill area. Rope off the area. Try to draft someone to act as "policeman" while you deal with the spill.
5. Report the Spill
First, call your office for instructions. Depending on the material spilled, the amount of the spill, and state and federal laws, you or your supervisor may have to contact the fire department, police, certain state and federal agencies, or spill "hotlines."
6. Clean Up the Spill
Procedures will depend on the pesticide, the amount of the spill, and the location. Follow instructions from the office or from a spill hotline. Do not work alone. Wear appropriate protective equipment.
7. Decontaminate as Necessary
The manufacturer of the pesticide will provide information on how to decontaminate surfaces and materials.
8. Dispose of Contaminants
Recovered pesticide should be saved and used at a job site, if possible. All contaminated materials (such as absorbents, rags, soil, and wood) must be removed from the site and disposed of as required by law. Place the material in a sealable, leakproof drum or, if a drum is not available, in double heavy-duty plastic trash bags, until you find out the proper disposal procedure.

© 2006 Pinto & Associates, Inc. from

For this company policy statement in Microsoft WORD, click Sample Company Policy on Pesticide Spills, WORD

To go back to original article, click Need for Company Policy for Pesticide Spills

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