In DOT HazMat, HazMat

Table of Contents

  1. Spill Cleanup Tips for Truck Drivers
  2. Using Spill Kits
  3. Types of Spill Kits
  4. Hazardous Waste Certifications for Tow Truck Drivers

Who cleans up debris after a car accident? Tow truck drivers are the unsung heroes after automobile accidents, and they have their work cut out for them. They’re often the first ones to the scene of the crash and are responsible for cleaning up hazardous materials that may have leaked to the ground. An accident cleanup crew can help limit the negative effects of hazardous spills.

Truck drivers must know how to clean up hazardous materials when they’re out on the road. Various laws state truck drivers must get certifications to prove they have the necessary knowledge and abilities to handle such spills.

Spill Cleanup Tips for Truck Drivers

Every truck driver hopes the day will go by without a hazardous spill. But if one does happen, everyone involved needs to be ready to move into action and resolve the issue. Here are some spill cleanup tips for truck drivers:

  • Size up the spill:Look for key visuals that reveal a spillage of hazardous materials. Analyze any containers for numbers, placards, labels and markings that describe the type of material within. Then see if these containers show any signs of damage. Be aware of vapors, clouds, run-offs or suspicious substances that could be spreading in any direction, and look for biological indicators, such as dead vegetation, insects or animals. This step is crucial for knowing how to proceed toward containing the situation in a safe and effective manner.
  • Confine the material to its original container: One of the best ways to remedy a hazardous spill is to confine the material to its original container. Plug, patch or overpack the container to limit further spillage and give yourself a more manageable scenario. Then you’ll be in a better position to clean up any of the materials that have spilled and begun spreading.
  • Consider different ways to contain a spill: Mist knockdown and vapor suppression techniques can contain hazardous gasses from spreading further into the environment. You can contain hazardous liquids by diverting spills from entering water supplies. Use dikes and damns to stop the advance of hazardous materials. You could also use methods of absorption, booming and fencing to hold materials in place.
  • Invest in absorbents:Investing in absorbents is a wise decision for any truck driver. Granular absorbents, oil-absorbing pads and universal absorbent pads can help remedy a variety of hazardous spills and aid in the cleanup process. Absorbing the hazardous materials will help limit the damage of small spills until you can take other actions to resolve the situation.

Using Spill Kits

Spill kits are a fantastic resource for every truck driver to keep in case they ever have to deal with a spill while they’re out on the road. Spill kits come with some items a truck driver may need in the event of a spill, helping them take immediate action. Certain laws require truck drivers to have spill kits on hand, depending on what they’re transporting.

You may find different items in spill kits depending on their intended use. But there’s a high chance any spill kit you get will contain the following items:

  • Biohazard bags
  • Masks or respirators
  • Eye protection
  • Shoe covers
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectants
  • Tools and containers for dealing with sharp objects like broken glass
  • Absorbent materials for handling hazardous liquids

Types of Spill Kits

Three main types of skill kits are available, each containing specific items suited for its purpose:

  1. General-purpose spill kits: These universal spill kits contain the essentials for handling a wide range of liquid spills, including water, antifreeze, brake fluids, coolants and some oils. General-purpose spill kits contain pillows, pads, spill socks and loose absorbents. Truckers, freight handlers, mechanics and machinery operators are a few occupations that could make use of these spill kits.
  2. Oil and fuel spill kits: This type of spill kit can help truckers clean up oil and fuel. The absorbents in this kit repel water, making it essential when oil and water have mixed. You’ll be able to force the water from the oil, making the task of cleaning up the oil itself much easier. These kits are essential for anyone operating machines or transporting oil or fuel, especially near sources of water.
  3. Hazardous chemical spill kits: You may also hear people refer to these kits as “hazchem” spill kits. They’re necessary for cleaning up acid spills along with other toxic, caustic or hazardous materials. You should understand the specific material you’re transporting so you know the best actions to take should a spill occur. A hazardous chemical spill kit is only as good as the person using it, so make sure you can use it to its full potential to handle the hazardous situation.

Hazardous Waste Certifications for Tow Truck Drivers

Professional truck drivers need various certifications to prove they have the ability to transport hazardous materials and take action if a spill occurs. Here are some of the hazardous waste certifications every truck driver should have:

  • TRAA certification: The Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) has recognized tow truck drivers can help return an area to safe conditions after an incident has occurred. This certification shows that a tow truck driver has the ability to clean up vehicle fluids after an accident or vehicle malfunction.
  • Hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) certification: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires this certification for individuals working with hazardous materials. The HAZWOPER certification focuses on cleaning up hazardous waste in the event of a spill.
  • DOT hazmat training certification: DOT Hazmat Training is essential for truckers moving hazardous materials. Such materials are anything that poses a risk to the public’s health and safety if they were to spill and seep into the environment. If you’re on the road with hazardous materials, this course is for you.
  • Hazardous waste training certification: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires people who work with hazardous materials to get a hazardous waste training certification related to their specific job duties.

Contact Hazmat School for Hazardous Spill Cleanup Courses

The right certifications are essential for anyone working with hazardous materials, especially tow truck drivers, who are often the first to the scene of a crash, where hazardous spills are common. Truckers who transport hazardous materials also need their certifications for employment. Hazmat School has online training courses to help you follow regulations and know what to do if you encounter a hazardous spill while on the road.

Contact us today for more information about the various safety training courses we offer.

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