Chemical emergency planning

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It’s important for aquatic facilities to have procedures in place to handle chemical spills and emergencies. The correct handling and storage of chemicals is a vital function in an aquatic facility but even with the right precautions in place, accidents can still happen. 

There should be two copies of the procedures, one kept near the stored chemicals and the other kept somewhere separate – this is important if the storage area becomes inaccessible during an incident. 

The emergency procedures should outline all relevant information pertaining to the chemicals that are stored at the facility, who is responsible and plans to deal with spills and other emergencies.

The procedures should contain:

  • Chemical Register - an itemised list of dangerous goods and hazardous substances stored at the facility, where they are located and the maximum amounts. This should also include the Safety Data Sheet information for each chemical.
  • Site Plan
  • Responsibilities of key personnel
  • List and locations of equipment needed to clean up spills that are identified as safe for facility staff to deal with – must include PPE information.
  • List of phone numbers for authorities and responsible persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
  • A plan for containing spills for any chemicals stored and used on site
  • Plans for how to clean up a spill for each chemical. These plans may involve emergency services or other organisations. Aquatic facility staff should only be involved in the clean-up if it is safe to do so.
  • A plan to deal with an overdose of any chemical into the swimming pool water.
  • A plan to deal with fire and an uncontrolled reaction.

Employees should be given training about the potential hazards, and what to do should a spill or chemical emergency occur.

Having procedures mapped out and documented ahead of time means that in an emergency, staff aren’t burdened with making decisions about how best to respond. The course of action has already been decided and there is a guide to the steps needed to be taken.


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