In case of an oil spill, immediate action needs to be taken as it can have both immediate as well as long-term biological impact. While the process of cleaning up of the oil spill can be a prolonged process, there are a lot of actions which need to be considered immediately in order to minimize the risk to people working on the clean-up as well as those in the vicinity. Also, fill the safety sheet at the end of the job to make sure the actual cause of the oil spills. Sometimes its happens due to Chemical truck spills too so root cause is very important.
Techniques to be followed for Oil Spill Response
There are a lot of advanced response techniques and mechanisms available to control oil spills and also to reduce their impact on human health and the environment as a whole. This can be effectively done by using proper equipment and materials based on the kind of oil spilled and also the site of the spill. Most of these equipment are dependent on various factors like wind, sea or water currents. Using proper containment and recovery equipment can reduce the extent of damage and danger to the affected areas.
Usage of Mechanical containment or recovery equipment
This kind of equipment is the primary requirement for any oil spill in the United States. They comprise of different types of booms, barriers, and skimmers along with both natural and synthetic sorbent materials. With the help of mechanical containment, the spilled oil can be stored till they are disposed or discarded safely.
Apart from using mechanical methods, chemical and biological methods are also used to clean up oil spills. This is done through dispersing agents and gelling agents so that the oil does not get mixed with water. To protect birds and animals, scare tactics are used and devices like floating dummies, propane scare-cans and helium balloons are used to keep birds away from the oil spill area.
Using physical methods to clean up
There are many physical methods which can be deployed to clean up the oil spill like oxidation, evaporation, biodegradation. However, they are too slow to provide the required impact and do not offer the desired environmental recovery. Other physical techniques like wiping with sorbent materials, pressure washing, and raking and bulldozing can also be helpful. It is seen that none of the oil spills are similar to each other and they vary in terms of the oil types, weather conditions and of course the location of the spill.
Isolate source of oil spill
When an oil spill occurs, the immediate source of the spill should be identified and further spill or leakage should be blocked at the earliest. This can be done by plugging the source of the spill, closing the valves or diverting the oil to another or alternative containment. Safety should be the most important aspect when a spill occurs and all measures should be taken to avoid any further damage. Fire department and police should be deployed immediately and presence of any kind of flammable mixture in the atmosphere should be evaluated using explosimeter. People near the spill should be sensitized and if needed evacuated to avoid any kind of health hazards.