How to deal with a Diesel Spill?

The exact action to be taken will depend on the extent of the diesel spillage (i.e. whether this is 100ml or 1,000 litres). The general procedure to follow is the following:

  1. Stop the spill 
    The leak or spill should be stopped by properly qualified and equipped personnel — if this can be done safely. Turn off nozzles or valves from the leaking container if it can be done safely. Use a wooden plug, bolt, band or putty on a puncture-type hole.
  2. Contain and recover the spill.
    If the spill or leak cannot be stopped, catch the flowing liquid using whatever is available. Spreading absorbent material (including sand, sawdust, wood chips, synthetic absorbent pads can stop the flow and soak up the diesel spillage. It is also possible to use “solidifiers” which are powders or liquids, which react with the diesel turning it into a rubbery substance.
  3. Collect the contaminated material.
    Brooms can be used to sweep up the absorbent material and put it into buckets, garbage cans or barrels or on top of plastic sheeting. Remember to control ignition sources. Fresh granular absorbent such as sand can then be re-spread on a roadway to control the residual slipperiness.
  4. Secure the waste.
    Arrange for the absorbent material to be disposed of in accordance with industry best practice.


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